Sustainable Innovation

Hoffenheim announce carbon neutral plans

German soccer club to roll out ‘climate ticket’ with tree-planting option.

by Tom Bassam

Hoffenheim announce carbon neutral plans

Top-flight German soccer club TSG Hoffenheim have announced plans to become climate neutral by offsetting unavoidable CO2 emissions through a World Wide Fund (WWF) Gold Standard project in Uganda.

Following fellow Bundesliga outfit Mainz, who went carbon neutral in 2010, Hoffenheim are implementing a new sustainability strategy – ‘TSG is Movement’. The club are currently the only sports organisation in the Alliance for Development and Climate Change, a government initiative launched last year.

Since the start of the 2019/20 season, Hoffenheim say they have been entirely carbon neutral thanks to a new policy which sees all unavoidable CO2 emissions offset through a WWF Gold Standard tree planting programme in Uganda’s Kikonda Forest.

The club have already offset approximately 3,000 tonnes of CO2 and once the season comes to a close a precise calculation of the carbon emitted will be undertaken and with that contribution adjusted accordingly.

All of the club’s home games this season will see carbon emissions offset, including the journeys taken by the visiting side and the refereeing staff. All parties will receive certification outlining the details of their carbon offset.

Dr Peter Görlich, Hoffenheim’s co-managing director, said: “In choosing to go carbon neutral we also hope to educate both our fans and the general public as well as draw attention to this issue which is of critical importance for all levels of our society.”

“Making all of our activities climate-neutral is a continuation of the steps we took years ago to equip all of our facilities, including the stadium, with state-of-the-art environmental protection technology in order to conserve resources and operate in an environmentally-conscious manner," added Frank Briel, the club’s co-managing director.

Hoffenheim are also preparing to roll out a ‘climate ticket’ for all home games at their PreZero Arena. Set for launch during the first half of the Bundesliga season, buyers would have the option to make an additional payment which would allow them to plant any number of trees in the Kikonda Forest.