BASES' Pledge to Net Zero

3rd June 2022


To celebrate World Environment Day, BASES is pleased to share news of its Pledge to Net Zero submission which was formally submitted in May 2022. The submission involved calculating the greenhouse gas emissions of the Association and setting a science-based target to reduce them.

Greenhouse gas emissions of the Association

The Association determined that from a baseline year of 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, our total estimated emissions were 21.3 tCO2e (i.e., 21.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). To put this in context, this equates to the carbon dioxide emitted from driving a car approximately 53,000 miles. The Association’s biggest source of emissions was the production, printing and posting of The Sport and Exercise Scientist (TSES) publication, followed by air travel for speakers at the BASES Annual Conference.

BASES’ science-based targets

The Association commits to a minimum of a 21% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 (a minimum 4.2% reduction per year between April 2020 and 2025). The Association also commits to reach net zero by no later than 2050. The Association believes these targets are consistent with reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

Reflections and Thought Leadership

Whilst it is vital that BASES meets the targets set here and ‘puts our own house in order’, we acknowledge our estimated emissions are relatively small. As such, we believe that our biggest contribution to tackling the climate emergency will come through thought leadership. As a professional and regulatory body, we can influence the behaviours and actions of thousands of Sport and Exercise Scientists and hundreds of Degree Programmes and Laboratories. We also have the opportunity to shape the international Sport and Exercise Science agenda, and use our network with, for example, the Science Council, to learn from others and share our experiences. As such, our BASES Climate Change Action Plan is dominated by actions to promote sustainability and responsible practice across the Sport and Exercise Sciences, and to disseminate evidence-based education and guiding principles. When we make our first progress report on our science-based targets in May 2023, we will detail the significant work that has and will be done to ‘punch above our weight’ through thought leadership.

To conclude, BASES would encourage other organisations to:

  1. follow our example and to sign up to the United Nations Climate Action Framework for Sport and the Pledge for Net Zero and,
  2. let us know what you are doing to tackle the climate change emergency so that we can learn from you.


The authors would like to thank staff at Pledge to Net Zero for their guidance and the founding members of the BASES Climate Change Action Team - Dr Andy Smith (Chair), Dr Susie Crawford, Annabelle Davis, Romain Denis, Louise Ellis, Dr Andrew Garrett, Dr Lee Graves, Dr Stephen Mears, Dr Ash Willmott and Dr Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer. The CCAT is supported by Ian Wilson, BASES Executive Director.

Produced by Dr Lee Graves (Liverpool John Moores University) and Dr Andy Smith FBASES MBE (Independent and unaffiliated)


BASES stands for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. BASES is the professional body for sport and exercise sciences in the UK.

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