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

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

‘Being open about my mental health created a better work culture’

Engaging world’s youth vital to preventing violent extremism, building sustainable peace, UN official tells Baku Forum

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

Hungary must enforce its foreign bribery offence against companies, including foreign subsidiaries

The Parliament defies a politically biased Banking Union

UN chief condemns student abductions in north-west Cameroon

MEPs call for EU Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions on human rights abusers

Bayer-Monsanto merger: the story of the rise of the “endless company”

Can cybersecurity offer value for money?

Europe must regain its place as world leader in digital technology

2014 budget: The EU may prove unable to agree on own resources

Snowden is the “EU nomination” for this year’s Oscars

Apple® logo (copyright: Apple)

Apple takes further step into music: EU Regulators formally approve its planned Shazam acquisition

Parliament elects Ursula von der Leyen as first female Commission President

The economic effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus around the world

How do we make artificial intelligence more humane?

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Remarks by High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the EU-China Strategic Dialogue

Reforms in a few countries drive a decline in average OECD labour taxes

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Your morning cup of coffee contains 140 litres of water

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

It’s time to gang up: a personal conflict on discrepancies in the medical community

EU allocates €50 million to fight Ebola and malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Central Asia: the European Union matches political commitment with further concrete support

Big data is coming to agriculture. Farmers must set its course

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on guidance for national courts when handling disclosure information

The sad show of Brexit

UN condemns attack that leaves one ‘blue helmet’ dead in Central African Republic

Global trade is broken. Here are five ways to rebuild it

Consumer product quality: Parliament takes aim at dual standards

Pharmaceuticals spend millions to push TTIP while consumer groups spend peanuts

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

These are the countries where it’s still illegal to get an abortion

‘I don’t like to give up’: veteran UN envoy reveals how two decades of quiet diplomacy gave birth to North Macedonia

Davos on Climate Change: citizens demanding more actions while CEOs tried to balance profit with sustainability

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

UN rights chief says ‘bar must be set very high’ for investigation of murdered Saudi journalist

Righting a wrong: UN Fund helps thousands of sex abuse survivors rebuild their lives

Scores of Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh destroyed by flooding

Metrics of the Sustainable Developments Goals: Can we trust our data?

Member States and Commission to work together to boost artificial intelligence “made in Europe”

This is how a smart factory actually works

Address by the President Antonio Tajani at the funeral of Nicole Fontaine

As Houthi forces withdraw from key Yemeni ports, UN monitoring chief welcomes ‘first practical step on the ground’

Now’s the time to take up cycling – here are 6 reasons why

To retire at 65, American millennials need to save almost half their paycheck

How a chocolate bar gives hope for a new economy

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

Cyprus tragedy reveals Eurozone’s arbitrary functioning

Renewal of cross-border aid operation critical to northern Syria: UN relief chief

Recession: the best argument for growth

Business is stepping up its fight against climate change. This is how

Don’t dismiss start-ups founded by millennials. This is how they succeed

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine

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