UEFA EURO 2016 set new benchmarks for socially responsible tournament operations, UEFA member associations have organised projects across Europe and beyond thanks to new HatTrick social responsibility incentive payments, and UEFA's social responsibility partnerships continue to leverage the power of football to great effect.
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The objective of UEFA's football and social responsibility (FSR) programme is to manage the environmental, social and economic impacts of European football, the game having a vital role to play in driving social development and creating long-term benefits for society.
To demonstrate its commitment to leveraging the power of football, building on past successes and assimilating lessons learned, each year UEFA reports on its achievements to date and those of its members and partners, as well as the challenges faced in the fields of diversity, inclusion, the environment, health, peace and reconciliation, solidarity and fan dialogue.
This latest report, the fourth in a five-year FSR cycle, summarises the efforts made during the 2015/16 season to integrate social responsibility and sustainability into UEFA's business process.
"UEFA is on an ever-advancing football and social responsibility journey," said Peter Gilliéron, UEFA Executive Committee member and chairman of the Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee. "The 2015/16 season was a very special one, not least because of EURO 2016, which saw the seamless integration of social responsibility and sustainability into UEFA's tournament operations."
Indeed, UEFA EURO 2016's approach to social responsibility and sustainability earned it ISO 20121 certification for operations from the International Organization for Standardization (IOS).
Another important milestone was the establishment of dedicated HatTrick incentive payments to support UEFA's member associations in their efforts to develop and foster football and social responsibility at all levels within their territories.
A total of €2.75m, drawn from UEFA EURO 2016 revenues, was made available to UEFA's 55 member associations in 2015/16 to make European football more socially responsible and sustainable across the board.
"The efforts of UEFA, EURO 2016 SAS, UEFA's FSR partners, staff, volunteers, national associations, clubs, players, and last but not least, fans to play their part in this virtuous FSR circle are commendable," Mr Gilliéron added. "We need to keep the momentum going."
UEFA's appetite to move forward and progress along its social responsibility and sustainability path remains as strong as ever. Among the key success factors on this journey are the long-term partnerships UEFA enjoys with a limited number of specialised NGOs, whose invaluable work is also outlined in the latest report. Available in English, French and German, it covers the period between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.