Climate Change

Published on: May 5th 2021
Last updated on August 23rd 2023

With the support of members, we have created a strategic 3-year environmental sustainability strategy, supported by a new Climate Change Action Plan. We have also reviewed our own role as membership association and have developed an environmental policy for Community Leisure UK as organisation.

We recognise the climate change emergency and are supporting our Charitable Trust members to understand how they can respond to climate change, achieve environmental targets and make a collective contribution. Here’s how…

New Guide to Becoming More Environmentally Sustainable (Published 13/07/2022)

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.

You can download or read it below.

Environmental Sustainability Strategy

At Community Leisure UK, we recognise the climate change emergency and take responsibility as a membership body to support our members in their resilience and their local role in achieving environmental targets.

Our core work is to represent and provide a network for leisure and culture trusts across the UK, promote the trust model, and harness the power of the collective to strengthen our members’ contribution to communities.

To this end, we identified three commitments that guide our environmental work:

  1. Reduce our carbon emissions and restore our environmental impact where reduction is not possible.
  2. Encourage dialogue amongst the membership about how climate change affects them and the changes that are needed to ensure environmentally sustainable operations.
  3. Raise awareness of the need to include the public leisure and culture sector in climate change investments and decarbonisation efforts.

For the period 2022-2025, our support to members is guided by four overarching aims, each of them monitored and evaluated through key objectives:

  1. Identify and raise national awareness within the public leisure and culture sector as well as the Community Leisure UK membership of the climate impact of public leisure and culture trusts.
  2. Make the case for nationally supported investment in increased environmentally sustainable operations for public leisure and culture trusts.
  3. Clarify the funding opportunities for members to invest in environmental sustainability.
  4. Support the responsibility of a leisure and culture operator on climate action.

Projects and Networks

Sustainable Buildings Research

This research is being spearheaded by CLUK member BH Live and is open to all members across England, Scotland and Wales to become part of.

The current aim of the research is to establish the extent to which the use of modern “green” technology and materials can reduce the carbon footprint in older public swimming pools and leisure facilities. Future work will also look at theatres operated by members.

With Community Leisure UK’s involvement, it is hoped that this piece of work will lead to best practice sharing and recommendations that are relevant to leisure and culture trusts specifically. Input on the project will be on a voluntary basis with members sharing their experiences or views on the subject matter.

Sport Environment and Climate Coalition

Community Leisure UK feeds in to the UK-wide SECC through their MOU with ukactive and BASIS, and as a key partner of the Local Government Physical Activity Partnership in England.


Theatre Green Book

Community Leisure UK is proud to support the Theatre Green Book. The project, spearheaded by ABTT, Buro Happold and Theatres Trust and coordinated by Paddy Dillon, builds upon the work of Julie’s Bicycle, Creative Carbon Scotland, SiPA, Ecostage and others.

The Theatre Green Book initiative pulls together existing guidance and creates a shared standard for environmentally responsible theatre across three volumes:

  • Sustainable Operations

For more information on the Theatre Green Book, please see Theatres Trust’s introduction here.

Community Leisure UK’s COP26 Briefing

Following the publication of our Climate Change Action Plan, in the weeks leading up to COP26, we published a new briefing demonstrating the significant contribution that leisure and culture trusts make to tackling the climate change emergency.