Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


Dr. John van Buren


This paper examines the short- and long-term benefits of sustainability in professional sports and how it can be used as a platform for educating others on sustainable practices, focusing mainly on the 4 major sports leagues of North America as well as European Soccer. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the sports industry and the effects it has had on the environment. The sports industry’s relationship with environmental issues, such as pollution and waste, are also examined through case studies and data analysis. Chapter 2 explores the history of the sports industry since 1900 and how it has evolved into the entity it is today. This evolution and its impact on the environment are examined using two case studies involving major sporting events. In Chapter 3 the economic side of sports and the motivations behind decision making are covered. The ways in which the industry has evolved in a capitalist society from business behind the scenes to game-day operations is analyzed. These ideas are explored in the context of globalization and the impact it has had on both the sports industry and the environment. Chapter 4 explores the ethical practices within the economic and environmental aspects of the sports industry, and its interactions with local and global communities. The use of sports and its platform as leverage to educate people about sustainability is also highlighted. The final Chapter lays out clear policy suggestions for making the sporting industry more sustainable both economically and environmentally. Methods and examples of the implementation of these practices and how they work toward the goals of government agencies is also discussed. Key words: sports, sustainability, globalization, commodification, management, organizations, education, ethics, philosophy, history, environment, environmental issues.