TouriSME made an appearance during the EU Green Week

On June 8, in Brussels, ACR+ featured TouriSME in its EU Green Week partner event on the role of sports in reaching a more circular economy! The event focused on skills for sustainable, resilient, and socially fair communities.

While a major sports event is always an exiting news for a city, and always means an abundant flow of tourists generating a great economic benefit, the environmental impact of this flow is heavy. As sports can be considered one of the most popular leisure activities for a great share of Europe’s population – either through practicing them or enjoying them as a supporter, they have an intangible potential for provoking a positive mindset change in wider communities towards contribution to environmentally friendly practices and building resilience therein, in general.

While goods and services and the necessary resource consumption are the obvious elephants in the room, the overall experience expands environmental impacts way beyond – affecting water use, energy consumption, biodiversity and ecosystems suffering, and much more. Projects and initiatives show that sports and the outreach they have – tens of thousands of people in each European city, are a largely untapped source of contribution to a more resilient and environmentally responsible society.

The event, “Greening sports for achieving participative and contributory circular communities: skills and know-how for getting there,” was supported by Zero Waste Scotland. The conference gathered 50 participants, including academia, media, public authorities, sport organizations, EU officials, and NGOs, allowing interactive discussions on challenges and solutions. The panel discussion included diverse panellists discussing skills, tools, practices, challenges, and solutions, as well as potential for increased cooperation, peer-to-peer support, and the role of formal education and institutions in providing appropriate skills.

On behalf of ACR+, Francesco Lembo presented the TOURISME project as one of the latest attempts to improve the environmental performance of SMEs and tourism service providers in general. After all, the performance of these SMEs is what creates an added value to sport or cultural events in cities and regions. He reflected on several latest European initiatives and projects, which have been trying to define what sustainable tourism would be and how to highlight the need for those. What concerns TOURISME, he highlighted some of the latest outputs, observations and outlooks for improving the environmental management in this field.