England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has published its new Environmental Sustainability Plan for Cricket. The wide-ranging plan maps out the steps the national governing body (NGB) will take – in collaboration with the cricket network, its suppliers and partners – to make the sport more sustainable across the country.
With the theme of “every action counts”, the plan focuses on ensuring the ECB provides the leadership and support to inspire everyone in cricket – from grassroots clubs to our suppliers – to achieve its shared sustainability ambitions.
To help drive that goal, the ECB has become the first cricket NGB to sign up to the commitments of the UN Sport for Climate Action framework, which provides science-based targets for all of society.
Kathy Gibbs, ECB’s Sustainability Manager, said: Cricket is more susceptible to climate change than most other sports and, as we launch our new Environmental Sustainability Plan for Cricket, the most important thing we can do as a governing body is to support everyone within the game so that they feel able to achieve their sustainability ambitions.
“That is, in essence, the core principle of the Environmental Sustainability Plan. Every action counts!
“I would argue it is the most important thing we can do right now so that flooding, drought, pollution and extreme heat doesn’t stop play and future generations can enjoy cricket in the same way we do.”
Richard Gould, ECB’s chief executive, added: “We are all aware of the need for action at a global scale on climate change, but climate change has been impacting on cricket in England and Wales for some time, whether that is clubs devastated by flooding or the temperatures exceeding 40 degrees centigrade we experienced in the 2022 season.
“The ECB has frequently supported clubs to get back on their feet and become more resilient to climate change impacts. But we recognise these impacts will become more frequent and more severe so, as a game, we need to go further.
“We also acknowledge that what we do as an organisation, whether that is travelling to play cricket in India, hosting Ashes Test Matches or running the Hundred, all has an impact on our climate and our environment.
“As a responsible organisation we want to do more to reduce this impact and work to inspire change for the better. Cricket has positive impacts on the environment too. Our grounds provide essential green space and are a key part of our urban and rural landscapes. It is these green spaces that allow communities to come together for recreation and to live active lives.
“They do this not only for our society but also for nature, providing valuable habitat, food and refuge and helping to connect wildlife across the patchwork of green space in our local environment.”
The ECB’s new sustainability plan can be viewed and downloaded from the ECB website.