Rugby is an increasingly popular global sport, with a large fan base, iconic international events and players in more than 120 countries.
With climate change affecting all aspects of society and impacting rugby communities around the world, rugby has a duty to take relevant and credible steps to minimise negative impacts while adopting positive actions.
World Rugby’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030 is both a statement of intent and a tangible roadmap for tackling environmental issues, setting out what we believe rugby can and should be doing to contribute to a healthier and more sustainable society.
"The climate crisis is arguably the biggest challenge facing humanity and our planet’s fragile ecosystems. It is affecting all areas of our lives and with it, our ability to play the sport we love. Although the climate and environmental impact of rugby and all its associated activities is relatively minor compared with other sectors, it is our moral responsibility to be strong advocates for environmental and social responsibility and show leadership through accountability, positive action and good governance. Like all successful teams, everyone has an important part to play."
Rugby Communities at risk of Climate Change
Climate change is impacting our players and communities who already experience consequences of extreme temperatures, storms, floods, droughts, air pollution and sea level rise.
A true fabric of our game, the Pacific islands are among the most vulnerable communities on earth to the impacts of climate change.
Aligned with our core values of solidarity and respect, we must take strong action and play our part in addressing the climate crisis.
World Rugby's Priority Themes
In addressing the topic of environmental sustainability, World Rugby focuses on three priority themes that resonate with rugby’s stakeholders, from players to fans and member unions to partners.
- Climate action: addressing the carbon footprint of rugby, adaptation measures to stay in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement and use rugby’s platform to spread awareness and advocate for climate action.
- Circular economy (managing materials and resources): addressing issues of single-use plastic, short-life materials and waste management.
- Natural environment protection: addressing how rugby can help sustain ecosystems and promote healthier environments wherever it is played.
World Rugby’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030 is articulated around four pillars:
- Addressing our Direct Impacts
- Delivering and Supporting Sustainable Rugby Events
- Promoting Sustainability in Rugby through Education, Advocacy and knowledge sharing.