News article

Carbon neutrality and offsetting for sports events, venues and organisations

This piece may interest you if you are management, a coach, a team owner, an investor or an athlete or player interested in learning how sports may become carbon neutral. We’ll discuss the environmental toll of sports participation and events, and provide examples of organisations already making strides toward carbon neutrality to inspire your own efforts in this direction.

We’ll also explain how quickly and easily you may get certification as a carbon-neutral business by learning how to use CarbonClick to track, cut, and offset your carbon output.

Sustainable and carbon-neutral sports activities, including training and matches, are increasingly becoming a priority for athletes, fans, and other stakeholders. This is not only a requirement for elite teams or competitions, but for all sports organisations, including but not limited to:

  • Venues include stadiums, arenas, ice rinks, fields, courts, and pools
  • Performing training as a group
  • Sites of sporting events at the college, secondary, and primary school levels
  • Recreational facilities such as gymnasiums, stadiums, dancing studios, and yoga studios
  • Distribution channel marketing by a combined team
  • Disposal and reuse of beverage and food containers
  • Tending to green spaces including parks, farms, mountains, and beaches
  • Taking the whole squad, including coaches, dieticians and fans on trip to see some sights
  • Athletes’ accommodation and catering that releases emissions

International climate change sports initiative

Sports for Climate Action (UNSCA) is a movement started by the United Nations Climate Change to rally athletes, teams, fans, and other interested parties to take action on climate change. While the sports industry has felt the effects of climate change in the form of rising temperatures, debates over where to host international events, and more, it has also been a major contributor to energy costs in large arenas through things like lighting, air conditioning, merchandising, and other unsustainable actions that fall outside of carbon neutrality, like the use of plastic water bottles and cups and other poorly packaged food and drink materials.

There are two overarching goals:

To monitor, cut, and report greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius, as called for by The Paris Agreement.

“The sports business should utilise its influence to rally people across the world to combat climate change.”

In addition, signatories are being urged to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 (using 2019 as a baseline) and to completely eradicate emissions by 2040. In order to meet their commitments, the signatories must submit action plans within a year after the agreement’s signing. Members are invited to form or join existing organisations to implement the framework’s principles for addressing climate change. The principles are mandatory, whereas participation in the working groups is not. There are already more than 200 signatories among professional leagues, clubs, and federations, and more than 60 on the race to net zero. Of course, this isn’t exclusive to the realm of major league sports. Groups of athletes of any age or skill level may work together in their local communities to become carbon neutral via sports.

Spectator sports and their carbon footprints

While it’s great to participate in sports for their positive health and entertainment benefits, we also need to do our part to protect the environment. While it’s critical that we get to net zero as soon as possible, other areas of the ecosystem are being impacted by things like trash, plastic, a lack of recycling bins, water waste, and more. It’s important to note that CO2 emissions aren’t the sole harmful factor here. Having these activities available for enjoyment and participation is not inherently harmful, but their existence will inevitably result in some emissions. If that’s the case, we’ll need to compensate for them with future-beneficial initiatives like renewable energy to help us transition away from fossil fuels and reduce our overall need for offsets. While this is not an exhaustive list, we will highlight some of the situations with the highest CO2 emissions.

  • Extreme amounts of carbon dioxide and monoxide are released during skydiving and other air sports that use jet fuel.
  • Formula 1 teams, equipment, reporters and fans travel around the world for most of the year creating massive amounts of waste as well as greenhouse gas footprints.
  • Constantly freezing and chilling ice rinks for hockey and figure skating is a must in warmer climates.
  • Trash and rubbish left on the beach following a surf competition, as well as the usage gas-powered jet skis by workers.
  • Grass is grown, watered (in a wasteful manner), and then trimmed by lawn mowers (which release carbon dioxide) at golf courses. Throughout the year 2000 in the United States, golf courses squandered almost 2 billion gallons of water daily ( data).
  • Man-made ski resorts in countries like in Dubai, which have no natural snow, create over 500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year because visitors don’t make the short flight to a neighbouring nation with natural snow.
  • Around 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide are released each race weekend due to NASCAR events and team operations
  • In order to operate, a ski lift on a mountain use as much energy in one week as a typical household would need in an entire year. People also leave behind a trail of rubbish on the mountains, including cigarette butts and litter, as well as aiding in the destruction of animal habitats.
  • According to recent research, fireworks during sports events result in massive amounts of CO2 emissions, make the air quality worse, and litter the seas, causing damage to ecosystems.

 Organising sports events, from flights and accommodations for players and TV crews to the transportation of arriving and departing fans, is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. In the case of the World Cup, this is exacerbated by the fact that games are played in a wide variety of locations across a wide variety of countries in the same year, resulting in increased emissions from transportation modes overall, as well as increased emissions from waste management activities associated with the influx of visitors and the subsequent clean-up.

  • Stadium and arena operations, including HVAC, lighting, and trash collection, as well as packaging materials from concessions.
  • The amount of power required to operate the exercise equipment, lighting, and climate control in public and school leisure facilities.
  • Producing and transporting team gear produces emissions.

Tips for lessening your impact on the environment

Because emissions must be assessed in order to decrease them and offset the inevitable ones at present, achieving carbon neutrality in sports would be practically impossible without carbon calculator technology. Even if most people don’t recycle plastic, there are other eco-friendly measures we can all do. There are simple measures to take. However, an ice hockey game would be difficult to watch without a rink, since it is both dangerous to play on a frozen lake. While transitioning to renewable energy sources is the answer to excessive energy use, we will need to quantify and offset emissions until we complete the transition to zero carbon.

Athletes may use the CarbonClick carbon calculator to determine their own emissions and purchase carbon offsets.

Explaining the role of the CarbonClick offset platform in facilitating the rapid implementation of climate change initiatives in the sports industry

Find out how much greenhouse gas is being released. Learn how much of an impact you have on the environment and how to begin reducing it. The software will automatically convert the information you supply into CO2e tonnes, which can be tracked in real time using simple visualisation tools. Emissions sources may be easily identified thanks to the categorization provided. Once you input your data, everything is calculated automatically.

Slash your carbon footprint.

With the right data in hand, you can now formulate a plan to gradually replace less effective methods with more effective ones that aim for annual reductions.

CarbonClick is a platform where verified initiatives from all around the globe may be used to offset any unavoidable emissions, bringing us closer to a future without carbon emissions.

You may share your progress toward your goal of reaching net zero by reporting your emissions in real time via scope-categorised, investor-grade reports.

Acquire the appropriate certifications.

CarbonClick provides carbon neutrality certifications and badges that may be displayed in-store and online to show customers and visitors that your business is committed to reducing their environmental impact. Athletes and teams have a large audience of followers on social media platforms like Instagram, making it an ideal platform to spread the word about their commitment to carbon neutrality, which is the second overarching goal of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. Everyone will want to join in as news gets out from powerful individuals.

Carbon-neutral sports as examples

A number of professional sports leagues and organisations have committed to carbon neutrality, but we’ll only mention a handful of them here.

Targets have been established by the ATP tennis series to combat climate change, and the players are excited about the ATP Serves Sustainability initiative. To top it all off, in 2019, they compensated for all of the carbon dioxide emissions caused by the transportation of tennis fans and their families to and from the Nitto ATP Finals.

When it comes to Premier League clubs, Arsenal was the pioneer in signing the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action Framework. When it comes to environmentally friendly practices, they were unrivalled in 2019. In 2016, they teamed with Octopus Energy to switch to 100% renewable energy, and with Ball Corporation to use aluminum in all of their packaging. Water recycling, lighting, food and drink packaging, and more are just a few of Arsenal’s many eco-friendly initiatives, all of which may be read about on their website.

There are tens of thousands of plants planted to create a pleasant biological environment at Tottenham Hotspur FC’s stadium, which is only one example of the club’s commitment to sustainability. They began the 10:10 campaign in 2010 to help people reduce their carbon footprint by 10% that year. Packaging, trash, and energy use are just a few more areas where the stadium is making an effort toward sustainability.

Juventus Football Club was the first Italian club to join the UNSCA Framework and the 150th club overall. In addition, they became the first Italian club to sign up for the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now initiative, which helps individuals, organisations, and nations track and lower their carbon footprints.

Climate Change and Super Bowl LVI

Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, California, USA on February 13, 2022, was played in temperatures that reached. This is only the most recent example of how climate change is negatively impacting sports. In February, temperatures typically hover around the 53F/12C mark throughout the day. In contrast, temperatures reached 87 degrees Fahrenheit during Super Bowl LVI and then plunged to 45 degrees Fahrenheit by the following Monday. The football players and fans were worn out by the heat for an event that typically takes place in the winter. Temperatures on Super Bowl Sunday were the highest on record (but the hottest February 13th was recorded at 90F).

However, it should be kept in mind that, according to, annual CO2 emissions from NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB fans total 35,000 tonnes, and that the Super Bowl Halftime Show generates an absurd amount of emissions from energy use, transportation of stage materials, and the subsequent construction, breakdown, and disposal of stage materials. Also, there is the pollution caused by making the TVs and airing all the advertising (including the famed ones) for the event, which will only air for a few seconds and will never air again.

Considerations for the Future

There is a lot of demand from fans all around the globe for sports leagues and clubs to join the United Nations Sports Club Association (UNSCA) this decade. Carbon management software can help your team and venue set benchmarks and achieve their objectives on the path to carbon neutrality.

You can help with climate action right now whether you’re a professional or amateur club, venue, league, or stakeholder. Get in touch with CarbonClick now for a free demonstration and see how quickly you can go from zero emissions to net zero.

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