Customers and regulators, as well as venue operators, need to apply pressure on suppliers to explore more environmentally-friendly strategies, according to Kirstin McEvoy, sustainability and corporate social values manager at The Jockey Club.

Speaking to TheStadiumBusiness.com, McEvoy underlined the financial benefits of a responsible and sustainable strategy, although she acknowledged that issues can arise if only inferior ‘green’ alternative products are available.

“The choice is smaller if you’re looking for a greener product and if you reach a point when it is an inferior product, then that can make you think,” she said.

“But at that stage you need to go back to the supplier and say, ‘we need to have more choice’. You need to keep demanding. The more that customers demand, the more that suppliers will have to supply.

“The Jockey Club does have a bit of buying power, but as a world we have a lot of buying power. So, the pressure needs to come from every direction, and customers as well as governments have their part to play.

“The more noise there is around it, the more something has to be done about it.”

The Jockey Club’s Going Green initiative at racecourses has raised awareness and engaged colleagues in supporting sustainability targets.

As a result, there has been a 25% reduction in mainline energy consumption at racecourses, as well as a 10% reduction in waste volume and more than 80% of waste is now recycled.

“It must become unacceptable to provide things in too much packaging and everybody should be almost shamed into doing something and seeing what opportunities they are,” said McEvoy, who is also a director of BASIS, the British Association for Sustainability in Sport.

“It is really easy for me to pick up the phone and find out from one of my colleagues at BASIS about an initiative. It’s a really easy way of saving money and saving the planet.

“Being sustainable is about reducing and reusing, and it’s something everybody has to work together on.

“The immediate solution is not necessarily the final solution, but we’ll get there in the end.”

Image: Carine06