The first ECA Workshop on CSR & Sustainability was successfully held in Turin today.
Organised in collaboration with Juventus, the one-day event entitled "The Future of CSR in European Club Football: Towards a New Model?" saw the participation of over 60 representatives from 38 different member clubs, as well as officials from UEFA, FIFA and UNESCO.
CSR and Sustainability have always been topics of high interest for ECA and its member clubs. In 2010, ECA launched the "ECA CSR Award", which rewards a member club with an outstanding club-driven CSR project on an annual basis. Additionally, a first report showcasing a collection of ECA Member Clubs' CSR projects was published in 2011 (click here).
In the past year, ECA decided to further engage in this field, which resulted in the organisation of the first workshop dedicated to CSR and sustainability. The workshop aimed at reuniting clubs, football governing bodies and specialised organisations in order to share knowledge and best practices and build a constructive dialogue. Additionally, the event was the occasion to launch ECA's latest publication: "CSR in European Club Football - Best Practices from ECA Member Clubs".
Following the welcome words and introductory remarks by Juventus President and ECA Executive Board Member Andrea Agnelli, the new ECA CSR Publication was presented. The publication, which comprises 64 projects from ECA Member Clubs, is intended to serve as a source of inspiration for other clubs to start becoming active in the field of CSR.
Three different ways to approach CSR & Sustainability were then presented by Freddie Hudson, Community Manager at Arsenal FC (ENG), Nico Briskorn, Head of CSR at VfL Wolfsburg (GER), and Filip Lundberg, Sustainability Manager at Djurgårdens IF (SWE). The three speakers were then joined by An-Gaëlle Bénédic, Development Manager at Paris Saint-Germain (FC), and Simone Freling, Director of the Ajax Foundation (NED), for an interesting panel discussion on the various club approaches that exist around Europe.
The afternoon session kicked off with the presentation of the Juventus sustainability model. Claudio Albanese, Head of Communication and External Relations, and Virginia Antonini, Sustainability and External Relations Manager, described how they integrated economic, social and environmental sustainability in the club's core business structures.
Subsequently, three parallel practical working sessions were held, with the aim of brainstorming on the different ways to develop a sustainability model for clubs. The main outcomes of the break-out sessions were then presented to all participants and led to the conclusion that clubs should take the initiative to develop sustainability guidelines to the benefit of all.
Finally, and following a short networking break, a panel discussion on the future of CSR was held. Irina Schlossarek-Dhowtalut (FIFA Football for Hope Programme Manager), Monica Namy (UEFA Social Responsibility Specialist) and Philipp Müller-Wirth (UNESCO Executive Officer for Sport) notably presented their organisation's approach and activities in this field and debated on the short and long-term future of CSR in football.
Similar to previous ECA Workshops, the first ECA Workshop on CSR & Sustainability turned out to be a true success. The event proved very informative and the active participation of all attendees underlined the fact that CSR & Sustainability have now become indispensable components of the daily activities of football clubs.
The European Club Association will further engage with its member clubs on this important matter.
For additional information on the Workshop or the Publication, please contact the ECA Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.