UEFA’s FSR Strategy serving SDGs

UEFA’s FSR Strategy serving SDGs
18 / 08 / 2019
بقلم Mohamed El Ghbasgy - - | Edited by Marwa Nassar

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) seeks to promote sustainable development in the community and its Football and Social Responsibility (FSR) strategy enhances the value of the organization’s core business while contributing to sustainable development in society.

Its strategy is based on the notion that social responsibility activities need not come at the expense of profit; rather that social responsibility is about how revenues are generated.

UEFA applies a systems approach that works in cooperation with key economic, social, financial and environmental stakeholders – inside and outside of the organization – to promote social responsibility throughout all aspects and all levels of football.

Positioned under its pillar of Respect, UEFA’s approach to FSR is continuously evolving; aiming to extend and develop social responsibility within UEFA and with national associations.

UEFA uses the sustainable development goals (SDGs), as set out by the United Nations general assembly in 2015, as a point of orientation. In its annual FSR report, UEFA maps the SDGs according to each strategic theme to demonstrate its contribution to global action on sustainable development.

Football is a well-acknowledged tool for promoting diversity and inclusion, as supported by the United Nations, European Commission and Council of Europe agencies.

UEFA encourages an inclusive culture and practices in football. It endorses the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of each individual, while embracing differences such as ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, national origin, income or ability, etc.

Environment

Climate change is argued to be the most important issue of the age, a threat that endangers the entire planet, and one that will likely define our generation and many to come.

UEFA places a special emphasis on promoting climate action within the scope of its competitions. It also encourages its stakeholders to place due consideration towards environmental sustainability issues that are connected with activities in and around football.

As part of its commitment to combating climate change, UEFA was one of 17 signatories to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. UEFA and other sport organizations have united behind this initiative and are committed to use their positions to work toward minimizing the threat posed by climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Health & well-being

Two thirds of premature deaths in the European region are caused by four major non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 1 and 2 diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory disease. However, by modifying lifestyle risk factors, at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers could be prevented.

UEFA is committed to the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles, and the development of health-promoting football environments, addressing the key lifestyle risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases. This includes the promotion of regular physical activity, such as playing football, as well as healthier diet and smoke-free lifestyles.

Peace & reconciliation

Europe has been affected by several conflict situations in recent times, such as those occurring in southeastern Europe and the Caucasus.

The promotion of peace and reconciliation in post-conflict areas, among antagonistic population groups is a complicated matter that may take generations to solve. Programs must be planned and implemented on the basis of a sound conflict analysis and according to the cultural, social, economic and political context of the conflict-affected communities.

UEFA supports activities promoting social contact and shared activities that are intrinsic to football.

Solidarity

Solidarity can be defined as an ‘outside-in’ approach whereby societal issues and problems are identified and tackled by using football as the tool.

UEFA works in collaboration with key stakeholders, including NGOs and the EU, using established frameworks, such as the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to identify areas where it can make use of its resources to benefit society.

Human rights

The world of sport, including football, can have both significant positive and negative social impacts. UEFA takes steps to ensure that human rights standards are upheld across all levels of operations, including competitions, in full alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Supporter relations

Football supporters’ meaningful involvement plays an important role in the sustainable development of football.

UEFA is committed to ensuring that the needs and viewpoints of this key stakeholder group are taken into account across the Game. It conducts proactive and structured cooperation with supporters to improve governance as well as matchday experiences for all stakeholders.

 

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