Date: November 16, 2017
Author: Paul Vardy, Clubs & Facilities Support Manager

Environmental Buzz from #SEA Summit

Sports Environment Alliance is an organisation committed to improving the sports industry's engagement in the clean economy. The #SEASummit was held this week in Melbourne and included speakers from the French Tennis Federation, the Cleveland Browns, the British yacht racing team in America's Cup, major Australian sports, government and sustainability experts from private industry.

Two central messages came out – 1) do something – anything at your local level such as changing your office copy paper, converting your lights to LED, composting your food, solar panels, public transport, anything! (why not do the Take2 Pledge?).

The second is for sports to collaborate and partner with industry and the community to get things done. Sport has an incredible ability to attract eyeballs to screens and bums on seats in large numbers at any one time. This can be used to nudge the broader community along with new environmental behaviours. There are experts that can help sports become environmental leaders. There are financial partners to make it more feasible.

Tours of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Flemington Racecourse showed the extent of this sporting leadership with food and other recycling as well as water management. Incredibly, food waste from the huge MCG crowds gets turned into organic soil on site, to be used in Yarra Park! A bag was handed to everyone in the room.

Golf's impact is more about the green haven it provides, particularly in the dense urban landscape. Leading golf clubs are into water treatment and recycling, preserving huge amounts of flora and fauna through vegetation management plans, conversion to drought tolerant grasses and use of organic alternatives to chemicals and fertilisers. It's all important stuff – just ask a migratory bird. Wollongong Golf Club was a deserved winner of the #SEAChanger Award and a great example of environmental best practice for golf and a club embedded in its local community.

So, if you're from a sporting club (any sport), a sporting organisation or associated with sport, pencil in November 2018 for attendance at the next Summit. You will get a buzz meeting sports and environmental experts and hearing about exciting new opportunities for sport.

Paul Vardy
Clubs & Facilities Support Manager at Golf Australia