New Guide to Becoming More Environmentally Sustainable

Published on: July 13th 2022

A copy of the guide can be found here.

A new guide to support organisations in the leisure, sport and physical activity sector to begin to review their environmental sustainability journey has been launched.

The “Becoming More Environmentally Sustainable Guide” is a free resource developed by Community Leisure UK, Sport England’s Club Matters, and BASIS.

It’s full of useful information to help organisations understand why this matters, and how they can embark on becoming more environmentally sustainable.

Across the country, millions of people volunteer, watch and take part in sport, recreation and physical activity every week. They are supported by thousands of organisations and facilities from leisure centres to parks, waterways, pitches and clubhouses. 

Community Leisure UK, BASIS and Sport England’s Club Matters team believe that, as a collective, the sector has a big part to play in responding to the climate and ecological emergency, not only by changing the way we approach environmental sustainability, but also using our collective voice to influence change.

Throughout the document are hints and tips to help organisations work out how they can  

become more environmentally sustainable, and what they can do to take action. 

These include: 

  • Making a commitment to change.
  • Understanding impact, setting targets and sharing progress.
  • Supporting nature and wildlife.
  • Managing and reducing waste.
  • Using responsible partners, suppliers, sponsors and investments.
  • Encouraging responsible travel.
  • Connecting into local networks and using their voice to influence change.

Jenn Huygen is the Head of Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Community Leisure UK, a member association of more than 100 Charitable Trusts operating over 3800 facilities, including leisure centres, pools and theatres. 

She said: “We live in the midst of a climate change emergency.

“Our members are acutely aware of the importance of acting on climate change, but they are all at different stages in their environmental sustainability journey. As a membership association, we have established a new networking group for members to share best practices, to ask questions, and provide a peer support network. This new guide will become an important part of our discussions and will help our members review their own work. ”

The guide includes energy-saving advice, including switching to LED bulbs, encouraging people to take shorter showers and programmed thermostats.

There’s also a focus on supporting nature and wildlife and encouraging active travel by promoting cycling or walking, carpooling and sharing public transport links.

Dr Russell Seymour, Chief Executive of BASIS – The British Association of Sustainable Sport – said: “BASIS exists to help the sport, play and physical activity sector to include sustainability principles into the way we operate. Our activities are being increasingly impacted by climate change, but we also contribute to the problem. Our sector has a powerful opportunity to come together to take action on the climate and ecological emergency and to inspire action in our members, players and fans. This document provides the information and the inspiration to help us all to reduce our impacts and improve our playing environment.”

Rosie Benson, Head of Clubs at Sport England, says: “Sport, recreation and physical activity brings people and communities together like nothing else. They are fantastic catalysts for inspiring individual and collective action. As a sector, we have a collective responsibility and an enormous opportunity to help tackle climate change. The time to act is now. The hints and tips set out in this guide highlight some simple and important first steps to help clubs, community groups, trusts and other organisations get started and take action.” 

Club Matters is a Sport England National Lottery funded programme dedicated to supporting clubs and community organisations delivering sport and physical activity. Their offer can be explored at the following link: 


Notes to Editors 

BASIS (the British Association for Sustainable Sport) has provided expert help to sports clubs, venues, and governing bodies for over a decade – helping them to understand their impacts, set targets and implement processes to improve their environmental performance.

Community Leisure UK is the members’ association that specialises in charitable trusts delivering public leisure and culture services across the UK. Community Leisure UK champions and protects the trust model by enabling networking and knowledge sharing with peers and external stakeholders.