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The ebbs and flows of green waves: environmental sustainability in Grand Slam tennis

Sylvia Trendafilova (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Jamee Pelcher (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Jeffrey Graham (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Vassilios Ziakas (Independent Scholar, Leeds, UK)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 8 February 2021

Issue publication date: 21 May 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine the structure and scope of environmental sustainability efforts of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments as communicated via their websites.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative content analysis methodology guided the study. To accomplish the goal of the study, the researchers analyzed each tournament's website and each venue's website to document the environmental initiatives outlined on these pages.

Findings

Results indicated Grand Slam events focus primarily on energy and water conservation initiatives, increasing sustainable food choices and improving spectators' knowledge about environmental sustainability. Most sustainability programs fell into the first wave of sustainability efforts indicating that formalized strategic planning is largely missing.

Practical implications

By examining how Grand Slam events utilize their webpages to promote environmental sustainability, implications are drawn for not only website content but also actual event initiatives and activities. Pertinent efforts should move from a mere focus on communication to finding actionable solutions built upon the interconnectivity of events with allied sectors and the subsequent forging of cross-industry partnerships.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that Grand Slam tennis events pursue different trajectories in engaging with sustainability. This makes it important to understand in tandem their organizational conduct, strategies and communication practices. To move forward, there is a need to approach sustainability in a more holistic manner. A holistic view of how sport events engage with the environment can reveal causal patterns and points of leverage to use for initiating a change of practice toward adopting environmentally friendly behaviors.

Keywords

Citation

Trendafilova, S., Pelcher, J., Graham, J. and Ziakas, V. (2021), "The ebbs and flows of green waves: environmental sustainability in Grand Slam tennis", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 302-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-09-2020-0090

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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