Special Issue "Sport Ecology"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Air, Climate Change and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Cheryl Mallen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sport Managemant, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, L2S 3A1 Ontario, Canada
Interests: sport and environmental sustainability; sport facilities and climate change; sport ethics and new technologies
Dr. Brian P. McCullough
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Health and Kinesiology, College Station, Texas A&M University, Texas, TX 77843, USA
Interests: sport ecology; fan engagement; sustainable behavioral change; managerial decision making; environmental impact of sport
Dr. Greg Dingle
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Sport and Tourism, La Trobe University, Melbourne 3086, Australia
Interests: sport management and climate change, including impacts, risks, vulnerability, resilience and adaptation; sport and environmental sustainability; Education for Sustainability (EfS)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is increasing pressure on all industry sectors, such as retail, manufacturing, and entertainment, to achieve sustainability. Sport must also do its part to safeguard the future of both sport and society. Toward this end, we frame this Special Issue using the concept of sport ecology, or the study of the bidirectional relationship of sport and the natural environment (McCullough, Orr, & Kellison, in press). From this perspective, a heightened effort in practices that support sport ecology are required to safeguard the natural environment that supports all life, of which the sport milieu is a part. Conversely, it is important to understand how changes in the natural environment due to climate change impact the ways sport may be produced, consumed, or experienced by spectators, participants, and others.

This Special Issue on Sport Ecology is devoted to advancing research that strengthens the concept of a sustainable future for sport and society, and explores how to achieve such a desired future. The solicited research papers go beyond simply outlining the challenges at hand, but rather promote solution-focused strategies, with sport as part of the solution. Examples of the range of cross-disciplinary topics include:

  • Sport ecology programs/initiatives, including aspects such as trends, best practices, and strategies for overcoming barriers;
  • Sport and climate change, including managing impacts on athlete health (e.g., heat impacts); sport facilities (e.g., managing grass-based fields due to extreme weather such as drought and intense rain events, along with associated pests and weeds); impacts on sport events (e.g., policy adaptation strategies); and on sport and major games (e.g., strategies for mitigating the cancellation of events due to the lack of snow);
  • Sport and carbon impacts, including offsetting sport travel impacts, renewable energy and sport facilities, along with sport facilities generating energy for community use;
  • Sport and advancing air quality;
  • Sport and advancing water quality;
  • Sport and waste management;
  • Partnerships for sport ecology;
  • Sport management education and sport ecology;
  • Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., 11 – 13, 17) through sport.

Sport has made strides, but more needs to be done to advance our knowledge of adaptation strategies that achieve this balance of encouraging sport production and consumption while advancing sport ecology. We encourage you to submit your research to this key Special Issue.

Dr. Cheryl Mallen
Dr. Brian P. McCullough
Dr. Greg Dingle
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sport ecology
  • sport and safeguarding water
  • sport and safeguarding air
  • sport and sustainability education
  • sport and sustainable facilities and events
  • sport and climate change
  • sport and clean energy
  • sport and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Organizing Sport for Climate Related Adaptations: Lessons from the Water and Forestry Industries
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10462; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810462 - 20 Sep 2021
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Sporting societies around the world are being impacted by a variety of contemporary climatic challenges. The sport management literature indicates that these impacts have disrupted sport. Some adaptations have been implemented, but a comprehensive planning framework is absent from the literature. Learning from [...] Read more.
Sporting societies around the world are being impacted by a variety of contemporary climatic challenges. The sport management literature indicates that these impacts have disrupted sport. Some adaptations have been implemented, but a comprehensive planning framework is absent from the literature. Learning from other industries, thus, was considered, and an examination of the literature from the water and forestry industries was conducted. The examination resulted in the discovery of six key themes offering insights or practical lessons to guide sport organizations in their efforts to organize for adapting to climatic impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Ecology)
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