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A new environmental policy for Euro Football Championships 2016

30.07.2015

Popular, visible and iconic, major cultural and sporting events are also eagerly awaited and judged on their environmental policies. With one year to go until the European Football Championships are held in France in the summer of 2016, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) has set out its plan for a “green” Euros. Here is a roundup of the announcements.

How do you make the Euros “green” and build on the progress made at previous tournaments in 2008 and 2012? This is an important issue for the UEFA, European football’s governing body, which announced its objectives and key policies in this area in Paris in June, with the aim of achieving ISO 201221 certification, which recognises “sustainable” events.
Commitments related to transport feature heavily on the plans put forward by the UEFA: whether used by fans, officials or logistics, transport is responsible for a large proportion of the event’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More generally, it often represents 50% of a major sporting event’s environmental footprint. The UEFA says that it wants to promote and strengthen the public transport system, including the railways, as well as the concept of carpooling, to reduce the number of people using individual vehicle transport and air travel.
The organisation has also committed to a “carbon offset” scheme, through which it will use the Climate Friendly organisation to finance a wind farm project in New Caledonia .
The UEFA’s commitments also include optimising the use of resources, such as water and energy, and promoting renewable energy, although precise details of the measures have not yet been published.

Credits: UEFA

The UEFA is also planning a specific strategy for communication with supporters and the general public: it has announced the installation of an eco-calculator on its website, which will enable supporters to estimate the carbon footprint of their journeys during the tournament.

A review of the actions taken will be carried out in autumn 2016.
Click here for details of the key commitments announced.

Beyond Euro 2016 – a “sustainable” trend

Euro 2016 is not the first event to commit to such a process. There are numerous previous examples in the fields of both sport and music. Festivals have even been created with this ambition, such as “We Love Green”, held annually in France: this “eco-friendly” and “eco-designed” festival created a “green charter” to formalise its environmental commitments: no plastic bottles; use of photovoltaic energy for stage lighting, etc.

The city of London was commended for its environmental policy when organising the 2012 Olympic Games. For the first time in the history of the Games, a sustainable development plan was integrated from the event planning stage: among the initiatives put in place were the monitoring of the event’s carbon footprint, waste reduction and the development of a “Zero Waste Games” policy (encouraging recycling and waste recovery, without landfilling, etc.), and construction using certified timber.