Sports and Sustainability – A Bluedot Environmental Perspective

Sports and Sustainability

One of the largest sponsors of FINA, the World Organizing Committee for all Aquatic Sports, is Yakult, a Chinese Dairy brand. Dating back to 2005, Yakult and FINA started their partnership in the world of aquatic sports. Being in the food and health industry, Yakult has provided thousands of athletes with nutrition and wellness advice, programs, and supplies to ensure and promote optimal performances. Yakult understands the importance of a healthy diet and a balanced life for athletes, and they continue to provide the highest protein-rich food and drink options during competitions. 

In addition to improving athletic performance, Yakult is an environmentally progressive organization and has taken major steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Let’s look at what this multi-million-dollar company is doing for the environment.  

Yakult has focused and redirected its operations around three pillars of sustainability: reducing carbon emissions, packaging and overall waste, and reducing water usage. 

Yakult has set short, medium, and long-term company goals to achieve net zero CO2 emissions. By 2030, Yakult is committed to reducing CO2 by 30%, packaging by 30%, and water usage by 10%. In their public plan, they share their risk management, deliverables, and strategies for achieving these goals within this time frame. 

Within the Yakult community, they have created an environmental management team called People and Planet as One to quantify and monitor their company’s direct and indirect impacts on the planet. As written on their website, In order for people to be healthy, everything around them must also be healthy, and as a large-scale company in the health and wellness industry, it is critical that they understand that the health of our own bodies comes from the planet, and the health of the planet is solely determined on how we treat it. 

Another great standard that Yakult is setting for other companies around the world and corporate sustainability is transparency. There is still a surprisingly high percentage of companies that do not share their environmental and waste management records with the public, including some of the top 100 fossil fuel-consuming companies like Exxon Mobile, Chevron, and Berkshire Hathaway. How can we keep the top polluting companies accountable when they keep secrets or share false claims about protecting the environment!

It is inspiring to see the world of sport heading in a more environmentally sustainable direction. Sporting events themselves are, unfortunately, a very large disruption to the planet with noise pollution, tremendous amounts of waste from fan venues, and large stadiums taking up large pieces of land. If the sport itself can’t reduce its footprint, then it is important to have its revenue going to companies that appreciate the planet and are environmentally conscious and progressive. The partnership between the sport of swimming and Yakult is just one example of how sport can be sustainable when it supports companies that make a difference.

If not now, when?

With all the information and environmental awareness today, companies should be making sustainability and environmental transparency a much higher priority.