Football News: Euro 2024, Champions League, and Sustainability Efforts

Sustainability has been a key focus for the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament since the 2018 bidding process. The event’s strategy revolves around environmental, social, and governance pillars, with a significant investment of 32 million euros (£27 million), approximately 5% of the UEFA tournament budget.

“There are two aspects when it comes to environmentally sustainable sporting events,” said Dr Hartmut Stahl, who was involved in a feasibility study on minimizing the tournament’s environmental impact. “In one aspect, you want to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. But the other aspect is making people aware of sustainability. Football is, in Europe at least, one of the most popular sports, and therefore it’s a good way to increase awareness.”

The sustainability initiatives include:

  • Utilizing existing stadiums
  • Using renewable energy
  • ‘Clustering’ fixtures to limit team and fan travel
  • Providing public transport passes for ticket holders
  • Collaborating with more environmentally responsible sponsors
  • Reducing water consumption
  • Offering foods with minimal, recyclable packaging

Compared to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which generated an estimated 3.63 billion tonnes of carbon emissions, Euro 2024 is expected to create significantly fewer emissions, around 490,000 tonnes. Approximately 80% of this is anticipated to come from fan travel, and the organizers have established a ‘climate fund’ to invest in making German football more sustainable.

Through this fund, 25 euros (£21) per tonne of unavoidable carbon produced will be allocated to German amateur clubs’ environmental reduction projects, estimated to be worth 7 million euros (£5.9 million). Dr Stahl noted that this is a “really good decision” as it aims to mitigate CO2 emissions and strengthen Euro 2024‘s environmental legacy within the German football community.

However, the issue of team and fan travel remains a challenge, with teams discouraged from taking domestic flights, although the extent of enforcement is yet to be determined. Scotland, for instance, could face a 12-hour round trip to their second group game in Cologne, despite their base being in the south.

As the football world eagerly awaits the start of Euro 2024, the tournament’s focus on sustainability sets a new standard for major sporting events, aligning with the growing emphasis on environmentally responsible practices in the sport.

🔗 Source