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.

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

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Commission reports on 2019 European elections: fostering European debates and securing free and fair elections

Switzerland fast-tracks emergency aid for small businesses weathering COVID-19

EU Commission: Banking and energy conglomerates don’t threaten competition!

Sustainable finance: Commission publishes guidelines to improve how firms report climate-related information and welcomes three new important reports on climate finance by leading experts

Black babies more likely to survive when cared for by Black doctors, suggests new study

De-stigmatizing a mental illness: importance of individual and collective representativeness

How youth and technology can drive Africa’s COVID-19 response

This cheap, 700-year old solution could change billions of lives

Boosting the EU’s Green Recovery: EU invests over €2 billion in 140 key transport projects to jump-start the economy

All sides in Yemen conflict could be guilty of war crimes, UN experts find

We need to rethink neuroscience. And you can help us

The winds of change: 5 charts on the future of offshore power

Who and why want the EU-US trade agreement here and now

Who will secure Lithuania?

Betazone: The Beauty of Inclusion

Coronavirus Global Response: Commission joins the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX)

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

China’s impact as a global investor; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

UN chief condemns air strike that hit school bus in northern Yemen, killing scores of children

This crisis cannot be confronted with statistics

Latvian economy is thriving, but boosting productivity, improving social protection and transitioning to a low-carbon productive model are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth

Chart of the day: These countries have seen the biggest falls in extreme poverty

EuroLat: serious concern about migration and support to multilateral trade

France-Germany: Divided in Europe, USA united in…Iran

Fail fast, fail better: 3 ways companies can master innovation

Malaria: Focus on pregnant women and children, stresses UN health agency report

How to change the world at Davos

Powering through the pandemic

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

Here’s how to make ‘value-based healthcare’ a reality

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

What if nature became a legal person?

A new era of computing is coming. How can we make sure it is sustainable?

A win-win strategy for private equity deals

Afghans entitled to live ‘free from fear, intimidation’, says UN chief, condemning suicide attacks

Female leaders warn about the erosion of women’s rights

9 climate tipping points pushing Earth to the point of no return

Eurasian Union begins: the giant modelled on the EU is Moscow’s biggest challenge

Guinea-Bissau needs ‘genuinely free and fair elections’ to break cycle of instability

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

Japanese law professor elected new judge at the International Court of Justice

A new dawn for Europe: Joint op-ed by President von der Leyen, President Michel and President Sassoli

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

Billions for sustainable investments – Germany’s plan for a green recovery

Prevent future crises and empower youth – now!

Will ECB win against low inflation by not following Quantitave Easing?

We can save the Earth. Here’s how

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

Listen to the future – how 26 youth-led organizations are supercharging the UN’s Global Goals

The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it’s not too late to stop it

European Commission 2020 Work Programme: An ambitious roadmap for a Union that strives for more

Brexit: Six more months of political paralysis or a May-Corbyn compromise?

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Work and reforms of the UN ‘at risk’, Guterres warns Member States, amidst ‘record-level’ cash crisis

Pollution could be harming every part of your body. Here’s how

Cameron’s Conservatives and UKIP are exploiting and cultivating anti-EU immigration sentiment but Labour party isn’t?

A jingoistic Spanish ‘war’ from the past

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

More Stings?

Advertising

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