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Environmental sustainability

3 MINUTE READ

What impact does your club have on the environment?

The LTA recently published our Environmental Sustainability Plan setting out our ambition to secure a lasting future for tennis in Britain through positive action on climate change and leadership in sustainability.

We also want to support the wider tennis community to be more sustainable, in our role as national governing body for tennis in Britain. In doing so we hope to effectively support tennis in Britain in the face of rising energy costs, and changes to the environment.

As part of this, we plan to produce detailed advice and guidance for venues on becoming more environmentally sustainable, helping reduce impacts and contribute positively to the natural environment. As a starter, have a read of our top tips, summarising simple steps that venues can take.

There are lots of ways a tennis club can make a positive difference in their efforts to be more environmentally sustainable and reduce negative impacts on the planet.

Start by assessing what changes your club can make:

  • Does environmental sustainability feature in your overall club strategy?
  • Is the topic discussed at your management committee meetings?
  • Do you have a sub-committee focusing on your venue's environmental impact?
  • Do you have the skillset on your management committee? If not, consider some skills-based recruitment. It could already exist within your membership. Ask!
  • Think short term and long term!
    • What can you do now? What quick wins exist? Keep reading for some ideas!
    • Identify longer-term projects and start planning now e.g. floodlighting conversions, alternative sources of energy
  • Research solutions now. Your management committee or sub-committee could be tasked with conducting some simple desktop research?
  • Join the LTA Buying Group, which could support you to reduce your running costs significantly. It's free and is another excellent benefit of LTA Venue Registration.

What short-term changes can you make?

Get tough on plastic – 40% of plastic produced is single-use. One person uses an average of 150 plastic bottles a year! Consider installing a drinking fountain and selling club branded refillable drink bottles to your members instead. You could also consider banning plastic straws, replacing plastics with paper, and serving your snacks with wooden forks.

What a waste! - Encourage your members to join your recycling efforts. Communicate recycling plans on your social media, your website and member newsletters. Place recycling bins next to general waste bins in high-traffic areas at your club. Display posters giving information on what happens to your waste, encouraging your members and guests to contribute towards your plan.

A load of balls! – A hot topic in our Tennis Volunteer Community and some great ideas from companies that recycle old tennis balls. As part of our Environmental Sustainability Plan, the LTA is investigating a national recycling initiative. For other equipment, always check repair options first or properly disassemble for optimal recycling.

Keep it local – Focus your menu on local, seasonal and plant-based ingredients from local producers, ensuring a fresh, high-quality product that supports your local economy. Partnerships like this could lead to sponsorships too. Any leftovers or spare food could be donated to a local food bank.

Energy – assess your energy consumption and explore alternative sources of energy. One of the easiest changes you can make is your interior clubhouse lighting: switching over to LEDs, which are more efficient and have a longer lifespan. Consider installing occupancy sensors and putting your floodlights on timers will also help keep your energy costs down.

Longer-term solutions may require more time to plan but consider LED floodlighting conversions. Once again, a hot topic in our Tennis Volunteer Community, we'll be producing further guidance on this topic too.

It's well worth researching local energy grant schemes and funding pots in your local authority for these types of projects.

Sustainable travel – Encourage sustainable travel and identify to your membership and guests how they can look at alternative sources of travel to the club. Promote your local transport links, encourage walking and cycling to your club or even car-sharing to and from local matches.

For those driving, consider the installation of electric vehicle charging points – something the LTA Buying Group specialises in.

Nature – Can you create new habitats to enhance the ecology and biodiversity surrounding your club? Are there areas of land you can designate for re-wilding? Could grass areas become wildflower habitats, not only great for nature but also saves valuable time on landscape maintenance?

Water conservation – water-saving measures should be adopted throughout the facility, such as tap restrictors, spring-loaded taps, sensors operating automatic taps, shower regulators, push-button shower controls, urinal flush controls, and/or low-flow WCs. Check out Waterwise for some cost-saving measures.

The feasibility of rainwater harvesting should be investigated to be filtered, treated, stored and recycled e.g. recycled and used for irrigation systems.

The LTA will be producing further detailed advice and guidance on becoming more environmentally aware and sustainable over the coming months. Watch this space.

There is already great work going on across tennis in Britain, with the following case studies illustrating steps that tennis venues are doing to reduce their impacts and support their local environment.