- Fixture against Chelsea on 19th September set to be world’s first net zero carbon major soccer match
- Matchday emissions to be reduced, with remainder offset through natural projects
- Initiative announced ahead of COP26 summit in November
UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports has partnered with Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur to host the world’s first net zero carbon soccer match at an elite level.
The North London club’s fixture at home to Chelsea on 19th September has been dubbed ‘#GameZero’. Sky and Tottenham said the target of being net zero carbon will be achieved by reducing emissions from matchday activity such as energy used to power the game, travel to and from the stadium, and dietary choices at the venue.
The remainder of emissions will be offset through natural projects that remove emissions from the atmosphere.
The two parties, as well as the UK government, also want the game to raise awareness of the threat of climate change and inspire soccer fans to make simple changes that will help reduce their carbon footprint.
The 2021 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is supporting the initiative. Sky had been named as a principal partner of COP26, which is taking place in Glasgow from 1st to 12th November, back in January.
#GameZero aims to demonstrate the green steps that supporters, broadcasters and the wider sporting world can take to work towards a zero carbon future. Sky itself has committed to be net zero carbon by 2030.
“We’re proud to be working with COP26 and Tottenham Hotspur to make #GameZero the world’s first net zero carbon football match at the elite level,” said Jonathan Licht, managing director at Sky Sports.
“We hope that by using the power of sport, we can inspire and support football fans to make simple changes to reduce their carbon footprint and make more climate-friendly choices.”
Earlier this year, Tottenham were named the Premier League’s greenest club following a study carried out by the UN-backed Sport Positive Summit, thanks to a range of sustainable measures implemented across their operations.
Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspur’s chairman, added: “We are delighted to be the chosen partner of Sky on this ground-breaking initiative that will demonstrate the role our game can play in addressing the urgent issue of climate change.
“As the Premier League’s greenest club, Tottenham Hotspur is passionate about our planet - we look forward to showcasing our wide range of sustainable measures that are already in place and encouraging our fans to take simple actions that can make a huge difference.”
Meanwhile, Surrey County Cricket Club have made their own environmental pledge, announcing they are committing to working towards making their Kia Oval home a carbon neutral venue.
The club has begun the first step of the process - to understand the carbon impact the venue has - which will then inform Surrey’s next steps.
“Some of the challenges thrown up by events over the past eighteen months have made creating improvements in this area increasingly challenging but - as markets start to return to where they were before the pandemic - we will start moving forwards once more,” said Charlie Hodgson, interim chief executive of Surrey CCC.
“Ensuring we make a positive contribution to our immediate local community, the wider city of London and the world beyond is incredibly important to us and this latest commitment is an example of how we will continue to work.”