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A Framework for Debating the Future of Environmental Sustainability in the Sport Academy

The purpose of this study is to establish a framework for debating ES in the sport academy – a sport-ES debate. A debate specifically focused on the context of sport is necessary as ‘‘sustainable development is fraught with controversy because the concept is ‘vague’and‘ambiguous’’’ (Barrett&Scott,2001,p.317), is context specific (Barth, Godemann, Rieckmann,&Stoltenberg, 2007; Heugens,2006; Mallen, Stevens, Adams, &McRoberts,2010) andcomplex (DeTombe, 2008; Mallen,C., Stevens,J.,&Adams, in press; Olsthoorn, Tykeca, Wehrmeyer, & Wagner, 2001). ES is thus deemed difficult to achieve.

This study develops a framework for debating the constituent elements in sport environmental sustainability (sport-ES). The framework for the debate utilizes appreciative theory; a definition of ES by the United Nations (UN) Brundtland Report (1987); an application of Ku¨ sku˝ ’s (2007) and O¨ zen and Ku˝ sku¨’s (2009) concept of environmental citizenship, paradoxes, uncertainties and trade-offs based on the literature, Busch and Hoffmann’s (2009) environmental dimensions and six areas of environmental uncertainty, the extension of the areas of environmental uncertainty by the authors of this manuscript and a vision of the future (Belz, 2006). This framework provides eight key questions for debate on topics such as the definition of sport-ES and sport environmental citizenship, constraints within the natural environment (including the extent, importance and consequences of the limitations) and actions aimed at conserving the natural environment (including the level of response, actions, alternatives and consequences) by the years 2050–2060. The authors of this manuscript hope to generate energetic debate among sporting scholars, undergraduate and graduate sport management students and practitioners. The implication is that this framework is a starting place for debate. It is now up to the members in the sport academy to determine the extent of the debate, the visions conceived, strategies designed for managing arising paradoxes and ifthere will be a race to enact the visions.


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