Announced at an event for climate action in Paris, Tennis Australia has become the first Australian sporting organisation to commit to the United Nations Sports for Climate Change Action Framework.
Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director, Craig Tiley, explained how sport can play a major role in promoting innovative and sustainable practices required to achieve climate neutrality.
“As the biggest sporting event in the world each January, the Australian Open is in a unique position to help drive awareness of the need for increased sustainability,” Tiley said.
“While minimising the environmental impact across all of our events is an important focus of our team, equally, we know that as the national sporting body, we have the power to influence and drive the behavioural changes required to achieve climate neutrality at the local community level.
“Sustainability has been a key focus of the ongoing redevelopment of the Melbourne Park precinct during the past 10 years.
“As Australia is one of the driest countries on earth, efficient water use has been, and continues to be a priority, with all new infrastructure designed to help in the harvesting of water for use across the precinct,” Tiley continued.
A staff-led action group has also been working across Tennis Australia to identify, support and encourage a culture of sustainability throughout the organisation and the sport of tennis.
The areas of focus include:
- Waste and landfill reduction at all events through the introduction of biodegradable/recyclable materials for food packaging, straws, cutlery, plates, cups and napkins
- Removal of plastic bags from merchandise outlets, recycling of tennis balls and coffee cups
- Introduction of energy saving methods across the Melbourne Park precinct including solar arrays, LED lighting, mechanical plant optimisation initiatives and natural ventilation.
As a signatory to the Sports for Climate Action Initiative, Tennis Australia agrees to support the goals of the Paris Agreement in limiting global temperature rise by implementing the following five principles:
- Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
- Reduce overall climate impact
- Educate for climate action
- Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
- Advocate for climate action through communication.