For us, sustainability is an overarching goal that inspires and challenges us with different, yet connected, topics such as good governance, safe spaces and safe environment, equal opportunities, environment and climate, and anti-doping. All these topics are brought together in the Sustainability Programme for the Sports Community for the years 2020–2024. The programme was created together with our member organisations - national sport federations - and is the first of its kind in Finland.
Leading change is an active process. There is no single and easy road to reaching sustainability. Actions are needed from everyone, at every stage. The key question is – how to inspire organisations and people to act?
The Sustainability Programme draws the big picture and brings up key questions, which make it easier to act. It also reminds us why different sustainability measures are important: because we care about our sports culture and want to make it more equal, more sustainable, and more ethical.
Some of the key elements in inspiring and motivating are:
- Examples of a concrete action: We use the forerunner federations as good practice examples to share their sustainability actions and how the Sustainability Programme has been adopted in their organisations;
- Sustainability networks, that offer individual-level inspiration, training, and community of colleagues working on sustainability topics;
- Support in different forms. We arrange educational webinars and workshops on various sustainability topics, organise one-on-one meetings, and develop joint tools and campaigns.
Reaching sustainability is a journey towards a goal where you are constatnly on the ”road”. Accepting this makes the journey rewarding instead of unattainable. Honesty and openness is important. It is OK to be a beginner and start from the basics. It is important to nurture the understanding that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that would work for all sports, for all organisations; rather there are multiple ways to implement the Sustainability Programme on a grassroots level.
Working together, hand-in-hand with people from different sport sectors, we listen to the challenges and possible solutions and together create practical ideas for action. The Sustainability Programme is a common roadmap and implementing it means creating an environment where problems get solved together and any advances and successes are recognised and celebrated.
Positive feedback and support is essential to motivating federations to commit to sustainability action. Together, even the smallest steps create a structural change, benefiting the sports culture as whole.
Best results are reached together, in collaboration.