Sport and SDG: including an energy efficiency perspective in the planning of sports facilities

Sport and SDG: including an energy efficiency perspective in the planning of sports facilities

Sports facilities have a great impact on the territory from different perspectives: sport impact reaching a large number of users of different ages and groups, economic impact generating a dynamisation of the economic and labour activity of the territory, urbanistic impact with the creation of facilities that can shape the structure and mobility of the population, as well as a high environmental impact, as these facilities, due to their characteristics, size and intensity of use, tend to use a significant amount of energy.

The planning of sports equipment needs in the territory by means of Sports Equipment Plans, Sports Facilities and Equipment Maps, Facilities Master Plans, etc. have been an important planning tool for the territory at different levels: national, regional and local. Up to now, these have been conducted mainly from a sporting and social perspective with the aim of meeting the needs of the territory. At the present, this planning needs to incorporate a broader and more transversal vision such as the gender perspective, the dynamisation of the territory or its environmental impact, both in its construction (or renovation) and in its day-to-day management.

The search for energy saving strategies is one of the major challenges for sports managers, which can be related to the optimisation of technical equipment and consumption of energy supplies (use of renewable energies, automation of lighting or air conditioning, use of LEDs, etc.) as well as optimisation of use, such as limiting the opening of sports equipment, closing off areas during off hours, modifying training or competition schedules, etc. These strategies can have an impact on the comfort and/or satisfaction of the people who use the equipment, and it is necessary to strike a balance and undertake effective communication to ensure that sportsmen and sportswomen are jointly responsible for this commitment to the environment.

Focusing on current performance is key to achieving this energy improvement, but we must be able to anticipate the future and new trends as well as future difficulties. Continually adapting and reinventing ourselves in this constantly changing environment will be the key to guaranteeing the continuity of sports facilities under criteria of sustainable performance.