NOC*NSF considers the environmental and sustainable development as an important task; acknowledging that sport can contribute to environmental protection in many ways.
In 2013 many parties in the Netherlands committed themselves to the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth. The agreement unites divergent interests and brings together more than forty organisations, including national, regional, and local government, employers’ associations and unions, nature conservation and environmental organisations, and other civil-society organisations and financial institutions. It is based on the awareness that a long-term perspective means placing the common good far above the separate interests of either individuals or organisations and that it also means a growth path defined by energy and climate objectives as well as by feasible and necessary gains in competitiveness, employment, and exports. The Dutch ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports has also committed itself to the agreement and will support sport clubs, which will make their sport facilities more sustainable, financially.
Furthermore new legislation in the Netherlands is implemented to ban the use of pesticides on playing fields in the nearby future (2020). Pesticides are used on grass and synthetic turf grass (golf, soccer, hockey and tennis playing fields). The Dutch NOC together with the national government, national sport federations, the Local Government Association and several environmental parties has signed the ‘Green Deal Playing Fields’ to arise awareness of the dangerous effects of pesticides and to lower the use of these chemical means.
Following these promising initiatives and the new regulations in the Netherlands NOC*NSF launched a new environmental programme in 2016 for sport clubs which has led to the following results so far:
- Clubs are more aware of sustainability and what sustainable measures could mean for them.
- Sport clubs include sustainability and sustainable approaches in their policy.
- Energy costs at sport clubs decrease.
- Sport clubs become ‘greener’, financial stable and healthier.
- Sport clubs setting an example for other organisations and inspire them to become more sustainable.
NOC*NSF expects that in the long term the environmental programme will enable Dutch cubs will become key players in sustainability management, energy saving and CO2 reduction in the Netherlands with their strong outreach to their 5 million members.