Leagues – What We Do
“When interviewers ask me to give examples of Premier League football clubs doing great work in sustainability, I keep coming back to the same examples” our founder Claire Poole thought to herself in 2018. That thought kickstarted a project to research and map out, as exhaustively as possible, efforts of all clubs into a league table matrix, brought together from researching all information that was available in the public domain, and then verifying that with the clubs.
It was meant to be a tool for us here at Sport Positive to use, to share with the industry to benchmark and increase ambition. However the BBC heard about what we were doing through mutual colleagues and got in touch to say that it sounded just like something they would like to communicate – so they published the first edition in November 2019. The feedback was overwhelming, from clubs, stakeholders and (the dream!) FANS.
Why a league table? Isn’t that creating unnecessary competition between clubs on a topic – climate change – that we should all be coming together on?? When we realised there was an interest to share this information more broadly, we hosted focus groups and realised very quickly that there was very little appetite to read our – approximately 50 page – report on what the clubs were doing. There was however a big interest from fans to see quickly and visually how their own club was doing, and have the option to then click through to the more extensive data, depending on interest level. Increasing action and ambition on climate change is at the heart of everything we do at Sport Positive, but we also know that competition is the lifeblood of sport, and over the past 4 years we have seen how this friendly competition can help support more work in this area, which benefits the clubs themselves as well as the environment.
The leagues we have launched include: Premier League (4 annual editions – 2019-2022), Bundesliga (1 edition – 2021), Ligue 1 (1 edition – 2022), EFL (1 edition – 2022). We are working on other top flight leagues too across Europe and beyond in football, and in other sports too. We really want to begin to release leagues around women’s football as well; what has slowed us down there is the lack of ownership of infrastructure in many cases in women’s football that means the data we collect and analyse is much more difficult to get hold of. We’ve tried and failed a couple of times, so if you are in women’s football and can help – please get in touch, it’s our goal for 2023!
If you want to keep updated on what is coming up next, or want to work with us on creating a league within your sport, please do get in touch by completing the Keep Updated form at the bottom of the page, or by emailing [email protected]
Our mission is to increase ambition on climate action through the sports we love, and we work extensively with sporting organisations to do just that. We hope you find these leagues valuable, and we look forward to bringing you more.