4 ways sporting events are becoming more sustainable

olympic grames

(Vytautas Dranginis, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content


When it comes to fighting climate change, large sporting events have struggled to win any prizes. Fans travelling to just one European Cup match this year are estimated to have generated nearly 5,600 tonnes of CO2.

In numbers … the carbon footprint of the UEFA European Cup 2016
Image: Life Tackle

Next year’s football tournament may be even more polluting with matches played all across the continent, instead of in just one host nation, to celebrate the competition’s 60th anniversary. But that is all about to change as sporting authorities act to reduce their carbon footprint.

UEFA already provides an app to help fans offset the carbon impact of the tournament. And football clubs across the world are taking action to reduce emissions and recycle waste. Here are four sports aiming to become more sustainable.

1. Tokyo’s 2020 green Olympics

Under the banner “Be better, together” the organizing committee of the 2020 Olympics in Japan set out from the start to make them the most sustainable games ever. The athletes’ village will be built from locally sourced wood and the event vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Image: Tokyo 2020

The electricity will come from renewable sources, including onsite solar generation, and 99% of everything used during the event will be recycled. Apart from drinking water, all the water used at the games will either be rainwater or recycled.

2. Showjumping gets extra horsepower

This year’s Helsinki International Horse Show was horse powered in more senses than one. As part of a range of zero-waste measures, Finland’s biggest indoor sporting event was entirely powered by electricity generated from horse manure.

Image: Helsinki International Horse Show

Over 135 tonnes of manure collected from competing horses was used to generate 150 megawatt hours of electricity. Fortum HorsePower, the company behind the scheme, collects manure from 4,300 horses across Finland to generate sustainable energy for local grids.

3. Sustainable football

Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff stadium, home to Ajax, found a sustainable way to replace its 53,000 seats. Most were sold as souvenirs or recycled and their replacements are made from 100% recycled plastic – 10% of it recovered from the oceans.

In Pontedera, Italy, the stadium has seats made using recycled plastic from the town’s own waste, contributing to a circular economy.

Meanwhile, English League Two leaders Forest Green Rovers have been named the World’s Greenest Football Club by world governing body FIFA, and won a UN climate award.

Forest Green Rovers’ new stadium will be built from sustainable local timber.
Image: Ecotricity

The club’s ground is powered by solar panels and features electric car-charging points, water recycling, an electric lawnmower, an organic pitch, and an entirely vegan menu for players and fans. They now have plans for a new stadium built entirely from sustainable local timber.

Circular economy

What is a circular economy?

The global population is expected to reach close to 9 billion people by 2030 – inclusive of 3 billion new middle-class consumers.This places unprecedented pressure on natural resources to meet future consumer demand.

A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the end-of-life concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems and business models.

Nothing that is made in a circular economy becomes waste, moving away from our current linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy. The circular economy’s potential for innovation, job creation and economic development is huge: estimates indicate a trillion-dollar opportunity.

The World Economic Forum has collaborated with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for a number of years to accelerate the Circular Economy transition through Project MainStream – a CEO-led initiative that helps to scale business driven circular economy innovations.

Join our project, part of the World Economic Forum’s Shaping the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security System Initiative, by contacting us to become a member or partner.

4. Super Bowl goes zero waste

Last year’s Super Bowl, the culmination of America’s NFL tournament, had a new scoreline which measured not points scored on the field but how much of the waste generated by the game was recycled.

Image: Pepsico

All food served to fans during the game at the Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis came in compostable containers. Waste that could not be recycled was sent to a trash-to-energy plant to generate steam to heat buildings in downtown Minneapolis.

Since last year’s Super Bowl game, the stadium has composted a further 160 tonnes of waste and is using smart technology to maintain its zero-waste status, reducing its CO2 emissions over the same period by 231 tonnes.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Fighting for minds of youth in Latvia

Make the internet safer: stop using passwords

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

European Parliament marks EU accession prospects for Serbia and Kosovo

Yemen agreement to end southern power struggle ‘important step’ towards peace: UN Special Envoy

‘We all must step up’ collective action on disability inclusion – UN deputy chief

Federalist EU ‘naively’ believes Washington shares her TTIP high fever

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

Mass measles vaccination campaign begins in Ebola-hit DR Congo province

‘Countless opportunities’ for new people-centred workplace, but ‘decisive action’ critical

Khashoggi case highlights ‘very worrying practice’ of overseas abductions, says UN expert

Japanese banks to move their European HQ from London to Frankfurt after Brexit

A ‘charismatic leader’ dedicated to making the world a better place for all: officials bid farewell to former UN chief Kofi Annan

ILO: Unemployment to increase by 8.1 million in 2013-2014

Eurozone recession subsides

The new North America trade deal USMCA punishes German cars

Russia must urgently step up fight against foreign bribery

The West – the EU and the US – is writing off Turkey’s Erdogan

UN conference agrees better ways for Global South countries to work together on sustainable development

Africa is creating one of the world’s largest single markets. What does this mean for entrepreneurs?

The race for Driverless vehicles: where is the industry heading?

World Pride underscores that all people are born ‘free and equal’ in dignity and human rights

4 things President Trump could learn from Jimmy Carter

Time to pay up: UN summit to push for development finance breakthrough

Accelerating a more sustainable industrial revolution with digital manufacturing

Public Policies for LGBT in Brazil

Schengen: MEPs ready for negotiations on temporary checks at national borders

What is digital equality? An interview with Nanjira Sambuli

European Young Innovators Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: Europe for StartUps, vision 2020

China, forever new adventures

Why cities hold the key to safe, orderly migration

The essence of care is cosmopolitan

Young health workforce – a core of effective primary healthcare?

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

Tributes for ‘role model’ former UN refugee agency chief, Sadako Ogata

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

Energy security: The synchronisation of the Baltic States’ electricity networks – European solidarity in action

Bahamas: ‘Clock is ticking’ to help those who lost everything in Hurricane Dorian, says UN

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

Energy: new target of 32% from renewables by 2030 agreed by MEPs and ministers

What the global Internet’s stakeholders can learn from Europe’s new data law

Joint OECD and World Bank report urges governments to improve resilience to disasters and related fiscal risks

Environment and health at increasing risk from growing weight of ‘e-waste’

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

How Greece was destroyed

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

4 innovation hotspots in the Arab world

Commission imposes a fine of €561 million on Microsoft

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

G20 LIVE: G20 Statement on the fight against terrorism

The Government of China and UNIDO partner to develop technical guidelines for standards of small hydropower development

Greece may offer to China a European gateway

Europe had a record year for Measles – and it’s partly down to anti-vaccine campaigners

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s