Sustainability key to the future of Scottish Rugby

Sustainability key to the future of Scottish Rugby

Scottish Rugby is working on a sustainability plan as part of its commitment to the environment.

“We know there is a great deal to do on this sustainability journey but we believe working alongside our clubs, partners and stakeholders, we can make a difference to create a cleaner and greener future,” said Chief Executive Mark Dodson.

“We also know we must embed environmental considerations in all elements of our business as well as work with partners and those attending BT Murrayfield and other stadia to highlight our commitment to this.”

The plan is to be presented to Scottish Rugby Limited’s Board later this summer.

Last year, Scottish Rugby announced its support for the United Nations Sport for Climate Change Action Framework.

That aligns with World Rugby’s own Environment Sustainability Plan (ESP), aimed at halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2040.

“We are conscious that we have been doing a lot tactically in the ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance – space but, as part of that embedding, we need to be more strategic and create a measurable sustainability plan,” said Scottish Rugby’s Director of Stadium Development and Operations, Mark Laidlaw.

To kick-start the plan, Scottish Rugby is collaborating with leading professional services group Arup, to place the environment firmly on everyone’s radar.

“Arup offers a level of excellence in the sustainability sphere and, as such, is well-placed to help us forge our strategic aims, including agreeing what our vision should be and delivering targets that we all sign up to and on which we can be measured,” added Laidlaw.

Scottish Rugby recently held a series of internal workshops alongside Arup.

Natasha Connolly, Director at Arup, added: “Scottish Rugby wishes to place environmental, social and governance (ESG) at the heart of its operations to become a leader of sustainability in the sports industry. Arup fully supports this ambition and is proud to be working with Scottish Rugby on its journey. We are utilising our ESG expertise to collaboratively set an ambitious vision and plan, and to embed a strong sustainability culture within the organisation.”

Former Scotland 7s captain and current member of the GB Sevens squad, Jamie Farndale, who is Scottish Rugby’s Sustainability Ambassador, said: “It’s difficult to get across the entire message about sustainability in a single conversation, so the workshops held at BT Murrayfield were really useful and there is buy-in from everyone on this.

“These meetings highlighted that while there is plenty of work to be done in this area, there is an honest and open mindset that progress will be made.

“Arup are specialists in this area, they’re very diligent and have led widespread research into the sector.

“Scottish Rugby has the ability to influence and impact in working towards a more sustainable future. We have a good understanding of where we are and there is a genuine drive within Scottish Rugby and wider stakeholders about where we want to get to.

“There’s real community at the heart of rugby, which enables us to harness strategic action in this important area. There’s loads to do in reducing our impact on the environment, as well as playing a part in transitioning our society towards a low-carbon one.”

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