The triple impact of sports organizations
Any action by a sports organization has an impact. An impact is the set of consequences caused by an action that affects a social or natural environment. An impact can also be defined as the modification or alteration of the environment resulting from our actions and this can be positive, neutral and/or negative. It is the responsibility of the organizations themselves to transform negative impacts into neutral ones, turn neutral ones into positive ones and maximize the positive ones, following a defined strategy.
Although the impact of sports organizations can have an impact in different areas and beyond the economic impact, the triple impact is highlighted from a sports, social and environmental perspective.
Thus, while not all impacts can be controlled, organizations and entities need to be aware of the impacts within the organization’s own ecosystem according to its philosophy and values. In this sense, organizations can ask questions such as: What are the impacts we generate in our immediate environment? What can we do to minimize negative impacts? What are our values? What is the legacy we want to leave? What is our goal we want to reach? At what price? To begin answering some of these questions, the following figure may help us to consider the different perspectives and the balance between them.
Sports agents have a key role to play in generating a positive impact on sports, social and environmental issues. To achieve this positive impact, organizations need to make a strategic reflection on the current situation in which they find themselves and define the way to reach the goals they want with a consistent impact according to their philosophy. It is necessary to define the fundamental values and pillars which must be aligned with the specific objectives and actions as well as in the development of the day to day.
In the social context, sustainable development is a common topic, under the premise of meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the possibilities of future generations. To make this possible, in the context of the 2030 Agenda, public policies are being promoted as well as in the private sphere, with a commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The field of sports can have a significant impact on its achievement by integrating them into the different strategies of sports organizations and assessing the different impacts discussed.
There are many examples of sports organizations that take initiatives to generate positive impacts and minimize negative ones as well as initiatives that arise for this purpose such as the Bluebro project or the Ultra Clean Marathon. The first is an initiative to raise awareness of the impact on the natural environment by collecting waste during a kayak descent along the river Ebro. This initiative has resulted in the creation of a prototype for the sustainable collection of river waste. The second mixes sports practice with waste collection with the aim of raising funds for environmental projects.