Specialist Insights From Irwin Mitchell’s Latest Podcast
Organisations within the sports industry need to prioritise sustainability and implement robust contractual protections to navigate the challenges associated with increases in climate litigation, according to an expert discussion on the latest Irwin Mitchell podcast.
In a new podcast, Claire Poole, the CEO and founder of Sports Positive and two partners from Irwin Mitchell, Tom Barnard and Keith Davidson, debate the key points surrounding the intersection of climate change and the sports sector.
The podcast sheds light on the rising trend of climate litigation and says that an increasing number of claims are being brought by private individuals, investors, shareholders, civil society organisations, and public authorities.
The discussion examines how sports organisations, due to their high public profile, are particularly at risk of exposure to litigation and complaints related to their environmental impact.
According to specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, the risks faced by sports organisations can be categorised into three main areas: legal, financial, and reputational. Legal risks encompass claims related to climate change policies and practices, as well as failures to implement proper environmental strategies. Financial risks arise from changes in fan behaviour influenced by environmental concerns, which can impact revenue. Reputational risks involve potential damage caused by partnerships with polluting industries and negative publicity surrounding environmental controversies.
The podcast emphasises the importance of conducting appropriate due diligence on potential partners and implementing robust contractual protections to ensure transparency and accountability. This includes evaluating partners' environmental impact, decarbonisation strategies, and reporting obligations.
The discussion also looks at some of the key challenges for sports organisations including addressing travel-related emissions, elite events, and the need for more sustainable transport options. The podcast examines the role of legislation in setting targets, driving reporting, and promoting sustainable practices. It also highlights the international sustainability standards and regulations, such as the EU directives on sustainability reporting and due diligence, as crucial in driving changes in business practices.
Expert Opinion"During the podcast, we provided valuable insights into the growing importance of addressing climate change in the sports industry. Our discussion highlighted the risks faced by sports organisations and the potential solutions to mitigate these risks. By prioritising sustainability, conducting due diligence, and implementing robust contractual protections, sports organisations can navigate the challenges and promote positive change. Legislation plays a vital role in driving transparency, accountability, and continual improvements in environmental practices." Tom Barnard, partner at Irwin Mitchell
The podcast follows on from the Climate Change Litigation and Sport: Sport Positive Summit 2023. To view Tom Barnard’s presentation at the event, click here.