For several years now, the sports event sector has been showing a desire to reduce its environmental impact and increase its positive legacy. To achieve this, it has looked at several tools and indicators. However, the reality on the ground is complex. Indeed, the data required for a proper sustainability impact assessment is often non-existent, or difficult to gather, poorly stored, and not contextualised.
Moreover, while the environmental pillar is increasingly addressed through tools such as carbon footprints and economic factors are analysed with the support of impact assessments, social and governance aspects remain difficult to quantify and assess. Similarly, on the environmental front, the material footprint is not always known yet.
New indicators are now available to implement a proper evaluation based on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also allowing to assess the impact of sports events and organisations from a sustainable and a global point of view. In addition, more and more data is becoming available. However, considerable work remains to be done to collect this data in a consistent and strategic manner, organise it and thereby make it meaningful which often has not been the case in the past.