Trail runners

At England Athletics we encourage high standards and ethical success across all aspects of our work including high sustainability standards to ensure we are making a positive impact.

The goal of the England Athletics Sustainability strategy (PDF 3MB) is not to re-write the 2021-2032 strategy, but to embed sustainability throughout it, in strategic ways, considering where England Athletics has the potential to make an impact. When considering where impacts in sustainability can be made, it is important to consider our scale of influence and control.

Sustainability strategy

England Athletics’ new sustainability strategy and vision aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is built around the British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS) principles of sustainability framework.

The strategy will also be utilised to engage and inspire across the England Athletics family of clubs, RunTogether groups, athletes and runners, as well as event providers and facilities, to consider the impacts of their own activities and services. Importantly, this strategy will provide methods of measuring and tracking sustainability impact and progress across social, economic, and environmental impact areas so that any progress can be accurately measured.

Commenting on the Sustainability Strategy, England Athletics CEO Chris Jones said:

“Our new sustainability strategy recognises the importance of embedding the principles of environmental, social, and economic sustainability as an integral part of ensuring the success and longevity of England Athletics’ long-term strategy for athletics and running.

“Whilst as a sport we have made a significant contribution to social sustainability, supporting the health and wellbeing of communities, we have made less progress on environmental sustainability.  This strategy sets out a road map for what we will do across the three sustainability areas both in our own operations, as well as support across our networks of clubs, RunTogether groups, competition providers, road race organisers and facilities.”

The full strategy (PDF 3MB) is complemented by a summary version (PDF 2MB) and an update to the England Athletics long term strategy which has been updated to embed sustainability principles.

Guidance for our clubs, RunTogether groups, facilities, race directors and competition providers

England Athletics recognises that whilst improving the sustainability of our central operations, procurement and event delivery is important, we can have an even bigger impact through advocacy and support for the wider athletics and running community. We will be issuing guidance for clubs, RunTogether groups, facilities, race directors and competition providers early in 2024 to help them on their sustainability journey. This will be supported by additional learning opportunities, content and sustainability campaigns.

Go to Sustainable Club advice on our Club Hub

Is your event or competition in the sustainability starting blocks?

  1. Share details on public transport options for getting to the event or competition.
  2. Provide sustainable prizes. (e.g. wooden medals:, or compostable seed medals)
    If you have always provided t-shirts, you could offer the runners the opportunity to make a charitable donation or plant a tree instead of receiving a t-shirts.
  3. Only order what is needed and if possible, remove dates so any leftover materials can be used the following year (e.g. signage, medals ,etc.)
  4. Source compostable cups for water stations to avoid single use plastics and to enable recycling.
  5. If you are offering food, provide healthy, plant based options, preferably sourced locally.
Download our sustainability tips flyer (PDF 440kB)

Our commitment to sustainability

To support our commitment to sustainability here are just some of the actions we have taken:

  • Internal working group to prioritise and encourage sustainable practice across all of our central operations.
  • Partner working group to share best practice across our commercial partners and seek opportunities to collaborate to champion sustainability.
  • Membership with BASIS
  • Partnership with JogOn with the aim of removing and repurposing 1 million shoes that would otherwise end up in landfill

Learn more about our strategy