Earlier this week, over 120 people participated when Swedish Professional Football Leagues organized the Sustainability Arena in Gothenburg. This year’s theme at the conference was social sustainability, and how Swedish football together with business and the public sector can create the right conditions to build a better society.

“The days have contributed to reminding ourselves that football and sports have actually helped to build the Swedish welfare society. When we now leave here, we need to think together about how to move forward and continue the fine work we have started”, says Beatrice Clarke, sustainability manager at Swedish Professional Football Leagues.

For the second year in a row, the Sustainability Arena was held over two days in Gothenburg. At the initiative of Swedish Professional Football Leagues, participants from 25 elite clubs gathered, who, together with their partners and representatives from business and the public sector, had the opportunity to discuss the importance of football in the local community.

“The fact that we meet both business, the public sector and the associations, and that we are here together means that we learn from each other, which is of course very important. There is a common need, regardless of which organization you come from, which we have to solve together, which only becomes clearer and clearer”, says Niclas Carlnén, CEO, Malmö FF.

The days were based on a mix of inspirational lectures, panel discussions and group discussions. Beatrice Clarke from Swedish Professional Football Leagues hosted the conference, which also featured a guest appearance from national economist Ingvar Nilsson, who is responsible for the socio-economic report ” The football field in the middle of the village”, which describes the social benefit that Swedish elite football contributes annually.

“We have been involved since the beginning when Swedish Professional Football Leagues started this joint work with the elite clubs and we want to be involved and make a difference for our city. The sustainability arena is a fantastic forum to show everyone outside our world how much we elite clubs work together and it’s incredibly nice to see so many good forces and so many wise people coming together to make this as good as possible”, says Vedad Aganovic, responsible for social sustainability at IF Elfsborg.

The conference participants also had the opportunity to listen to good examples from a number of elite clubs who shared their work to create better and safer environments together with their partners in the local community.

“Today we are faced with a number of complex social challenges and it is super important that business, the public sector and civil society work together. Above all in association life where children and young people can really feel community and joy while it contributes to movement”, says Lisa Bragée, sustainability manager at Länsförsäkringar.