BASES Climate Action and Sustainability Advisory Group
The BASES Climate Change Action Team was set up in 2021 to create a working group focussing on the roles and responsibilities of Sport and Exercise Scientists in response to ongoing climate change. Comprising of BASES members from all areas of Sport and Exercise Science, the group have been working on projects to support the Association and wider Sport and Exercise community in addressing climate change issues. To reflect the wider ongoing work, the Group changed its name in 2024 to the Climate Action and Sustainability Advisory Group.
Showing our commitment
To show our commitment to helping address the Climate Change Emergency, BASES has signed up to both the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework and the Pledge to Net Zero. The UN Framework commits the Association to:
1. undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;
2. reduce its overall climate impact;
3. educate for climate action;
4. promote sustainable and responsible consumption and
5. advocate for climate action through communication.
The Strategic Objectives of the Climate Action and Sustainability Advisory Group are to
- Promote sustainable and responsible practices in Sport and Exercise Sciences.
- Reduce the Association’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Disseminate evidence-based education and provide guiding principles to help address climate change.
Workstream 1: Membership survey
Over the first year of the CCAT, this work was led by Dr Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer and Dr Andy Smith FBASES.
In our foundation year, this work was important to ensure that we listened to the BASES membership and learned from what our peers thought about how best to move forward.
Through this workstream, we have conducted a survey of the BASES membership and shared the results with the Board and used them to shape our thinking and action.
Going forward, it is envisaged that the CCAT will continue to listen to the membership to ensure our work is relevant, applied and practical.
Workstream 2: Draft a Climate Change Action Plan for the Association
Over the first year of the CCAT, this work was led by Dr Ash Willmott and Dr Andrew Garret.
In our foundation year, this workstream was important to ensure that the work of the Action Team had a purposeful direction and strategy for BASES.
Through this workstream, we have developed a strategic way forward and developed a better understanding of how we can have the biggest impact on the Association and its members and partners.
The workstream also designed and produced a user-friendly infographic to summarise BASES’ Climate Change strategy for its members and the general public to use and understand.
Workstream 3: Organise a BASES webinar on Sport and Exercise Science and Climate Change
Over the first year of the CCAT, this work was led by Dr Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer and Dr Susie Crawford.
In our foundation year, this work was important to ensure that we began to take practical, relevant and applied action as soon as possible
Through this workstream, we ran the first ever BASES webinar on Climate Change which took place on 2 February 2022 and was entitled ‘Race to reduce our carbon footprint: The role of the Sport and Exercise Scientist’. Members can watch the webinar again via the member-only webinar page
Workstream 4: Create a BASES Climate Change Action webpage
Over the first year of the CCAT, this work was led by Romain Denis and Dr Steve Mears.
In our foundation year, this work was important to ensure that the Team had a way to communicate with the BASES membership and to ensure openness and transparency.
The result of this work is the webpage that you are reading now.
Workstream 5: Explore how BASES conferences and The Sport and Exercise Scientist can advocate for climate change
Over the first year of the CCAT, this work was led by Louise Ellis.
In our foundation year, this work was important to ensure that we thought about the long term and how future BASES conferences and The Sport and Exercise Scientist could help tackle climate change.
This workstream represents an ongoing long-term piece of work for the CCAT
Workstream 6: Pledge to Net Zero planning
Over the first year of the CCAT, this work was led by Dr Andy Smith FBASES and Dr Lee Graves with significant input from Dr Ash Wilmott and Dr Andrew Garret.
In our foundation year, this work was important as the Board has committed BASES to the Pledge to Net Zero, requiring the Association to estimate its carbon emissions and set a target to reduce them.
Through this workstream, we have estimated the carbon emission of BASES and proposed to Pledge to Net Zero a target to reduce them. In doing so, we have developed some of the skills that the Association and the Discipline will need if it is to help address climate change. To share this knowledge with the Sport and Exercise Sciences community, in our second year of operation, it is planned to write this work up for publication.
Pledge to Net Zero commitment
To celebrate World Environment Day 2022, BASES shared news of its Pledge to Net Zero submission, which was formally submitted in May 2022. The submission involved estimating the greenhouse gas emissions of the Association and setting a target to reduce them.
Greenhouse gas emissions of the Association
We determined that for a baseline year of 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, our total estimated emissions were 21.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). To put this in context, this equates to the carbon dioxide emitted from driving a car approximately 53,000 miles. Our biggest source of emissions was the production, printing and posting of The Sport and Exercise Scientist (TSES) publication, followed by air travel for speakers at the BASES Annual Conference.
We are committed to a minimum of a 21% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 (a minimum 4.2% reduction per year between April 2020 and 2025). We are also committed to reach net zero by no later than 2050. We believe these targets are consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5°C.
Reflections and Thought Leadership
Whilst it is vital that BASES meets the target set here and ‘puts its own house in order’, our estimated emissions are relatively small. Therefore, we believe that our biggest contribution to tackling the climate emergency will come through thought leadership. As a professional and regulatory body, we can influence the behaviours and actions of thousands of Sport and Exercise Scientists and hundreds of Degree Programmes and Laboratories. We also have the opportunity to shape the international Sport and Exercise Science agenda, and use our network with, for example, the Science Council, to learn from others and share our experiences.
BASES encourages other organisations to follow our example and to sign up to the United Nations Climate Action Framework for Sport and the Pledge for Net Zero.
Interim Report (January 2023)
Our latest annual carbon footprint report covers the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.
This reporting period was chosen because i) it was the year in which we made our pledge and ii) at the time of reporting (January 2023) it is the most recent year for which we have a full set of audit accounts on which to base our estimate emissions.
Our total estimated emissions for this reporting period = 9.767 tCO2e.
Reporting period carbon footprint Scope 1 +2 = 0.65 tCO2e.
Reporting Scope 3 = 9.117 tCO2e.
Year 2 Report (February 2024)
Our latest annual carbon footprint report covers the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Our total estimated emissions for this reporting period = 16.69 tCO2e.
Reporting period carbon footprint Scope 1 +2 = 0.56 tCO2e.
Reporting Scope 3 = 16.92 tCO2e.
1. Scientific Articles
Climate Change, Physical Activity and Sport: A Systematic Review. [Link]
The climate change mitigation impacts of active travel: Evidence from a longitudinal panel study in seven European cities [Link]
Changing behaviour for net zero 2050 [Link]
Active travel: increasing levels of walking and cycling in England [Link]
Physical activity and the environment – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) [Link]
Cycling for health: Improving health and mitigating the climate crisis. [Link]
New global physical activity guidelines for a more active and healthier world: the WHO Regional Offices perspective [Link]
What is COP26 and how does it affect sport? [Link]
Air pollution, physical activity and health: A mapping review of the evidence [Link]
Health economic assessment of a shift to active transport [Link]
Transforming Our Cities: Best Practices Towards Clean Air and Active Transportation [Link]
European cyclists' federation – Quantifying CO2 savings of cycling [Link]
Development of the Impacts of Cycling Tool (ICT): A modelling study and web tool for evaluating health and environmental impacts of cycling uptake [Link]
United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework [Link]
Assessing the environmental impacts of mega sporting events: Two options? [Link]
Reducing the carbon footprint of spectator and team travel at the University of British Columbia's varsity sports events [Link]
2. Links to media
London Marathon using recyclable cups to cut plastic waste [Link]
How clean is the Tour de France? [Link]
Movistar Team aims to become first 100% sustainable cycling organisation [Link]
‘Extreme heat can be deadly:’ how cricket is handling the climate crisis [Link]
3. Links to organisations
- BASIS (The British Association for Sustainable Sport) https://basis.org.uk/ - BASES recently signed a Partnership Agreement with BASIS [Press release]
- Sustainability Exchange https://www.sustainabilityexchange.ac.uk/home - Developed by Sustainable UCL, the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) contains actions which lab users can take to save plastics, water, energy and other resources. By taking part in the programme, laboratories will reduce their carbon emissions and create an environment that supports research quality.
- The Retail Merchant Services has produced an SME’s guide to reducing your carbon footprint and environmental impact.
1. Global Water Waste
This guide covers everything that individuals, homes and businesses need to consider:
- The impact of wastewater on the environment
- Global water waste statistics, with countries, ranked and country-specific case studies
- The most common water-wasting habits in the UK
- The entire water process, including production, collection, treatment, and reuse
- How individuals and families can reduce water waste
Here are just some of the insights their research uncovered:
- A single member of a UK household could use up to 149 litres of water every day.
- There are huge disparities in water use across countries. Individuals in the USA use the most water on average, at 373 litres, while people in Mexico use just 5.4 litres per person per day.
- The water company areas with the highest water stress scores are Essex and Suffolk Water, and Folkestone and Dover Water, at 41.
- 29% of Brits don’t reuse water when cooking or preparing food.
2. How Much Do We Waste? A Data-Driven Guide to Waste and Landfills
It includes talks about:
- How much do we throw away
- Where our waste goes
- Managing business waste
3. 50 Important Facts & Stats About Automobile Waste in 2022
The research-based piece mainly covers the following:
- What happens to end-of-life vehicles in the UK
- The UK’s vehicle recycling targets
- Which countries are leading in car recycling
- Which parts of a car can be recycled
4. Home Carbon Calculator https://www.nu-heat.co.uk/home-carbon-calculator/
This tool calculates the potential CO2 savings through the following actions:
- Improving home energy efficiency
- Transitioning to renewable energy sources
- Making environmentally conscious lifestyle choices