Training to raise awareness of stakeholder engagement in European football
#Internal engagement & training
The UEFA workshop in social responsibility is an annual opportunity to bring together CSR and sustainability professionals from the federation’s 55 national associations to talk about the social, environmental and economic impacts of football. In recent years, UEFA has been keen to use the event to raise awareness of the importance of dialogue and stakeholder engagement in managing these issues.
Since 2015, we have been invited to hold training sessions during the UEFA workshops, held in collaboration with the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. The aim has been to show national associations the benefits and approaches used to incorporate stakeholder expectations into sustainability strategy and learn from best practices in the corporate sector, beyond sports.
The sessions, which have involved large members such as England and Germany all the way down to states as small as the Faroe Islands or Malta, provided us with an opportunity to share our experiences with clubs such as Juventus FC and Djurgårdens IF and to explain how to conduct a materiality analysis. This included interactive sessions in which participants themselves took part in a mock stakeholder dialogue.
UEFA has in recent years expanded its social responsibility remit to cover topics such as human rights, child protection and football for refugees, topics that were the result of a strategy review involving extensive stakeholder consultation. This also reflected UEFA’s ability to adapt to a changing social, economic, and environmental landscape.
UEFA also actively encourages national associations to build stakeholder consultation into their plans for using HatTrick funding for solidarity and development initiatives.