Through our partnerships and software, the organisations we work with are able to become more sustainable by digitising and streamlining key processes.

Last week, Jack Waddingham, Head of Business Development at Sport:80, wrote about the important steps that we are making as an organisation to become more environmentally conscious both now and in the future.

As a sports tech company this is absolutely vital, and we recognise that we have a duty to support the mounting challenge of helping the sports industry become more sustainable. However, our responsibility is not just to our own business, but for the community of sports organisations that we serve.

Championing and practicing sustainability is often easier said than done, and can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for National Governing Bodies (NGBs) who are already short on resources. The Sport:80 Platform can act as a support mechanism for our customers, helping them to achieve their goals.

Continue reading to understand more about how we support our community to improve their environmental credentials.

The significance of becoming a ‘paperless’ organisation

When we talk to sports organisation, we often find they have systems in place for managing their memberships, events, certifications, national teams, and more, which often involve paper-based and manual processes. A huge benefit to adopting our technology is that it can support your organisation to digitise many manual and/or paper-based processes.

Paper-based and manual processes not only potentially take up a huge amount of time, which is wasteful for sports organisations but can also be extremely environmentally damaging.

Forbes explained some of the problems caused by paper-based offices, including that approximately 1 billion trees' worth of paper is thrown away every year in the U.S. Additionally, approximately 26% of waste dumped in landfill sites is discarded paper and paperboard, which is a significant contributor to the emission of methane gas.

Just one example of how we are helping our customers address these issues is the ability for our Platform to allow them to deliver a paperless membership registration process. 

Everything is completed online with membership materials sent via email including digital membership cards which can be added to the Wallet app on your smartphone. Similarly, it can also produce digital materials for events including e-tickets (again for use in the Wallet app) that enable registrants to be checked in when they arrive at the venue.

There are countless other areas where we have transformed paper-based processes into digital data collection. Not only does the ‘paperless' aspect of our offering prevent wastage and reduce the need to produce physical cards and tickets, but it also acts as a significant cost-saver for the organisations we work with.

Reducing your organisation’s business travel

The Sport:80 Platform can also support your organisation to encourage hybrid or work-from-home policies, reducing the emissions generated by commuting to and from a central office.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published several pieces of research into the carbon footprint generated by the type of vehicles that we typically use to drive to work. One of these claims that in 2020, 60% of all transportation emissions in the US were generated by light-duty vehicles. Similarly, according to the Vehicle Certification Agency, transport is the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gases in the UK, contributing 24% of domestic emissions in 2020.

As our tech is entirely cloud-based, it allows your workforce to do their jobs from home with ease. Your membership and organisation can be managed through our Platform, including the sanctioning of events, registration of members, and importantly, provision of effective customer service to your community.

We saw clear evidence of this when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As businesses around the world adapted to new ways of working, our customers were able to easily pivot to home-based models as our Platform has been designed to support this approach, with staff members able to work from wherever.

Cloud-based software that supports sustainable practices

Organisations which have established their own membership management systems often find themselves reliant on on-premises IT infrastructure, when software is installed in the computers and servers of the organisation locally. Not only can this be incredibly costly, but it is far worse for the environment. In fact, a study by Microsoft found that cloud computing can be up to 93% more energy efficient.

All of our solutions are hosted using Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has some of the most sustainable data centres and hosting services in the world. It allows us to easily track the environmental impact of our technology solutions, and through utilisation of AWS the Sport:80 Platform in fact became carbon neutral in 2022.

Data centres and server technologies are notorious for being a 24/7 drain on electricity and significant CO2 emitter, and by removing your need to host your own makes for a much more efficient solution.

Similarly, all payment processing in our Platform is also cloud-based, with all payments and purchases being powered by our integration with Stripe.

Stripe are also renowned for their sustainability credentials, and have not only developed carbon removal solutions encouraging their customers to be more carbon conscious, but have also committed millions of dollars to funding carbon removal projects.

Access sustainability grants with our tech

Another piece of software we have developed alongside the Sport:80 Platform is our data visualisation dashboard solution, which can also be a support mechanism for an NGB’s sustainability journey.

Not only can our dashboards increase your organisation’s operational efficiency, allowing you to avoid spending hours manually trawling through data, but they can be custom configured to create state-of-the-art reports on any information stored within our Platform.

This information can then be leveraged as supporting evidence for accessing governmental funding pots and grants, generating revenue for your organisation that can be a vital stepping stone for achieving your environmental goals.

For example, Sport England’s 10-year strategy, launched in 2021, includes their ‘active environments’ mission to create spaces that are not only more accessible and more inclusive, but more environmentally friendly. In this mission they have committed to investing in sports organisations and facilities that are more sustainable in a bid to tackling climate change by influencing how people live and travel.

These sorts of investments are becoming increasingly common, and by using our data dashboards to present information on areas such as participation or demographics, our customers can more effectively make their case.

Evaluating your carbon footprint with Zellar

Zellar specialise in helping sports organisations plan, activate, measure, report, and share their sustainability strategies, and already have a community of over 1,000 organisations making the most of their transformative sustainability platform.

They are currently offering sports organisations free access to their platform for a year (worth £299) with the discount code ‘SPORT80’, automatically applied at checkout by following this link. Utilising their software can be a useful first step for organisations looking to build a clear picture of the steps and changes they can make to become more sustainable.

It was through Zellar that we were able to develop our own sustainability roadmap and understand the most effective ways for the business to become more environmentally friendly, which you can read about in more detail in Jack’s article.

It’s everyones responsibility

Everybody in the sports industry has a part to play in addressing the mounting climate crisis.

Whether it be the organisers of major global sporting events like the Olympics, businesses that serve the industry like ourselves, or National Governing Bodies of any size, there are steps that we can take to cut down our emissions and reduce our carbon footprint.

We are incredibly proud that our technology can support our community on sustainability journeys of their own, and we plan to continue developing solutions in the future that can have an even greater contribution.