A framework for debating the future of environmental sustainability in sport (2011)

It is widely accepted that sustainable development is challenging as the concept is vague and ambitious, context-specific, and complicated. As a result, it can be difficult to define and subsequently achieve environmental sustainability. This paper advances a framework for debating environmental sustainability within the sport sector.

This framework has two main dimensions: ‘‘constraints within the natural environment’’ (Busch & Hoffman, 2009, p. 295) and ‘‘action aimed at conserving the natural environment’’ (p. 295).

The debate framework includes multiple questions under each dimension:

Constraints within the natural environment 1. What is happening to the natural environment and what will be the extent of the limitations or constraints on sport due to the ecological conditions by the years 2050–2060? 2. How important are the ecological conditions to sport and what directions(s) can ecological limitations or constraints generate for sport by 2050–2060? 3. What are the consequences of responding, not responding or partially responding to ecology-induced constraints in sport by 2050–2060?

Action aimed at conserving the natural environment 1. What level or scale (1 being very low and 10 being very high) should actions in sport-ES reach in an appropriate response to the ecological conditions by 2050–2060? And why? 2. What sport-ES actions can you envision for each sector of sport (such as marketing, law, finance, facility and event management, etc.) and the alternatives and consequences of each action by 2050–2060? 3. If actions in sport-ES are instituted, what will be the exposure to and relevance of the institutional change they cause for sport by the years 2050–2060? 4. Should sport fully restore and advance the natural environment for the future of sport? What is a vision of what can be accomplished by the years 2050–2060?


CITE: Mallen, C., & Chard, C. (2011). A framework for debating the future of environmental sustainability in the sport academy. Sport Management Review, 14(4), 424-433.

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