Aiming for a greener approach to outdoor activities and sport

One of the trickier tasks for everyone involved in the #itsgreatoutthere campaign is achieving our overarching objective of getting more people active in nature, while doing so in a responsible and genuinely sustainable way. We work closely with our colleagues at the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), so are acutely aware of the need for everyone to look after the outdoors better than we have been doing. With that in mind, we will only support the delivery of Outdoor Activity Days for projects that have a robust approach to sustainability.

Our focus on this area goes further. As part of our role in the SHARE Initiative, we recently contributed to the development of a new paper that addresses the subject. ‘Green Transition and Sport At All Levels’ aims to provide sports and physical activity organisations at all levels with guidance on the part they can play in helping to deliver the transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy. Many of the principles that apply to organised mainstream team and individual sports also apply to the outdoors.

Of course, we believe that the outdoor industry is already well attuned to these issues because a love of nature draws many of us to our favourite activities in the first place. In that context, outdoor clubs, associations and charities can play an important role in leading broader community action for green transition, and that is already reflected in the way in which we are introducing new participants through Outdoor Activity Days. In our contribution to the work in developing the paper, we talked a lot about how engagement with outdoor activity can facilitate raising environmental awareness.

The Green Transition and Sport At All Levels paper gives us all some pointers on how we can channel that positive energy towards citizens everywhere.