Kickstarting Sustainability: How ClimateTrade is Leading Football Against Climate Change

· by World Football Summit

Francisco BeneditoIn the realm of sports, few things hold the power to unite people and transcend borders quite like football. However, behind the glory and fervor of the beautiful game lies a crucial issue that can no longer be ignored: the carbon footprint. 

In this insightful interview with Francisco Benedito, a CEO at ClimateTrade, we delve into the significance of carbon footprints in football, the evolving landscape of sustainability within the sport, and the pivotal role football fans and industry leaders can play in driving positive environmental change. 

From players making bold commitments to events offsetting their emissions, the football world is stepping up to embrace its responsibility in the fight against climate change.

But what is the carbon footprint? Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gasses, like carbon dioxide (CO2), released by a person, group, or event over time. The gasses from activities such as burning fossil fuels for energy, transportation, and industry. It’s measured in CO2 equivalent, which combines different greenhouse gas emissions into one standard unit.

In Francisco’s words, “In the context of football, carbon footprint becomes relevant due to the substantial environment impact that the sport can have. Football is an enormous global industry, involving millions of players, fans, and stakeholders, from grass roots through to professional levels. Making it a significant contribution to climate change”

Has there been an evolution in football to embrace sustainability?

“Since last year’s World Football Summit, there has been a noticeable positive evolution in the way the football ecosystem embraces sustainability. Recent event’s surrounding FIFA’s claim of carbon neutrality for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have brought the importance of transparency and accurate reporting to the forefront.” Francisco shares.

This increased emphasis on sustainability signifies a positive change in the football ecosystem. Acknowledging past shortcomings in carbon neutrality claims, there appears to be a greater willingness to adopt rigorous methods for calculating and reducing emissions.

But what about the fans? Are they committed? According to Francisco, “The fans’ perspective on creating a sustainable game is also evolving. Supporters are increasingly demanding that their favourite clubs and organisations take meaningful actions to address their environmental impact. Social media and digital platforms have amplified the voices of fans, putting pressure on football entities to prioritise sustainability.” While the industry still faces challenges in the implementation and monitoring of these sustainability measures effectively, the fact that the football ecosystem is actively discussing and pursuing these goals is a positive sign.

Football’s massive reach worldwide means that all progress made in terms of sustainability within this landscape can have significant positive impacts on the environment.

The role of football in helping achieve ESG goals:

Football’s potential in advancing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals is undeniable. The Women’s World Cup saw forty-four players seize the opportunity to calculate and offset their travel emissions, setting an example for their peers and fans alike. This initiative demonstrates that players and executives can wield substantial influence in addressing climate change. By offsetting carbon emissions and raising awareness, these athletes are not only showcasing individual responsibility but also encouraging football organizations to adopt eco-friendly practices.

Football fans too have a vital part to play in achieving sustainability objectives by 2050. Through eco-friendly habits like sustainable transportation and waste reduction, fans can help create an environmentally conscious game. Their collective voice, amplified by social media, can pressure football entities to take proactive measures toward sustainability. Supporting women’s football and eco-conscious sponsors further contribute to the cause, emphasizing the sport’s role as a catalyst for a greener future.

The United Nations Sport for Climate framework sets the ambitious target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. While challenging, this goal is attainable with concerted efforts. Football, with its global reach, can lead the way by adopting and promoting sustainable practices. Growing environmental concerns and public demands for responsible practices provide the impetus for the industry to expedite its journey towards carbon neutrality.

Best in-class examples of embracing the fight against climate change in football:

Amid the efforts to make football more sustainable, Liverpool Football Club stands out as an exemplary model. Their “the red way” initiative encompasses sustainability across climate, waste, water, and biodiversity. By offsetting CO2 emissions through tree planting and engaging fans in recycling projects, Liverpool FC has established a blueprint for integrating sustainability into all aspects of the club. This holistic approach exemplifies the positive impact that clubs can have on their communities and the environment.

With this initiative, Liverpool FC have already offset 435 tonnes of CO2 by planting trees in Northwest England. They also run a recycling project aimed at re-purposing 500,000 plastic bottles into Mr. Muscle packaging, engaging their fans in this green initiative.

ClimateTrade’s impact on the football industry:

Climate Trade emerges as a pivotal player in helping the football industry achieve carbon neutrality. By providing a practical solution for carbon offsetting, Climate Trade enables events like the BBVA Open Internacional Valencia Tennis Tournament and World Football Summit to calculate and offset their emissions. Their innovative API offers fans the chance to offset their carbon footprint when purchasing tickets, empowering them to participate actively in the sustainability efforts of the football community.

Learning from leading brands across industries:

Drawing lessons from working with global brands, Climate Trade offers valuable insights for the world of football. Working with global organisations across various industries has provided us with valuable insights applicable to the world of football. Al business must be able to show:

  • A commitment to sustainability: Prioritise sustainability as a core value, not just a one time initiative
  • Transparency and accountability: Communicate openly about carbon offsetting projects and progress towards environmental goals.
  • Collaboration and partnerships: engage in partnerships with reputable organizations for measurable impact.
  • Utilise technology: For example innovative platforms like our marketplace for secure carbon offsetting solutions or one of our climate technology solutions that can integrate climate action into the heart of the business.
  • Engage and educate the audience: Involve fans in sustainability efforts and importance of carbon neutrality and sustainability.

“The impact football has on climate change should not be underestimated, but neither should the potential to make a significant difference from the world’s biggest sporting stage.” – Francisco Benedito

In the end, the world of football is at a pivotal juncture where sustainability is no longer a choice but a necessity. The steps taken today by players, fans, executives and organisations will shape the future of the sports and its impact on the environment. As we witness the positive evolution of football’s approach to sustainability, there’s hope that the sport’s global influence can become a driving force for a more sustainable world. The pursuit of carbon neutrality on the world’s biggest sporting stage is not just a goal; it’s a responsibility we all share.