Arsenal FC has reinforced its commitment to tackling climate change by becoming the first Premier League club to sign up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
The UN initiative aims to bring together the global sports community with a commitment to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and support the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The signatories to this initiative, which already include FIFA, the FA and the IOC, aim to support these ambitions by adhering to the following five principles:
- Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
- Reduce overall climate impact
- Educate on climate action
- Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
- Advocate for climate action through communication
In a 2019 study by the BBC and the United Nations-backed Sport Positive Summit, Arsenal FC topped the league table on sustainability among Premier League clubs. The club’s operations director Hywel Sloman told arsenal.com:
Arsenal is committed to leading the way on sustainability among Premier League clubs and we are proud to be the first club to sign up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
Together with our partners, we’ve already implemented a number of environmentally-friendly practices across the club. This includes becoming the first Premier League club to switch to 100 per cent green electricity since the beginning of our partnership with Octopus Energy in 2016, and a new partnership with aluminium packaging company Ball Corporation, which is designed to help us and our millions of fans around the world reduce our impact on the environment.
We will continue to use the power and reach of Arsenal to inspire our global communities and push each other towards a more sustainable future.
Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Sports for Climate Action Lead at UN Climate Change, said:
Football inspires so many of us around the world and there is a remarkable potential for the game to become greener, more climate resilient and lead by example for millions of global fans. We are delighted to welcome Arsenal as the first Premier League club to the UN Sports for Climate Action community, as we raise awareness of climate change and use this opportunity to make a difference together.
Arsenal and sustainability
In recent years, Arsenal FC has implemented a number of environmentally-friendly initiatives across the club.
It became the UK’s first football club to install large-scale battery energy storage in 2018. The battery storage system can power Emirates Stadium for an entire match, or the equivalent of 2,700 homes for two hours.
Since 1999, more than 29,000 trees have been planted at the club’s training centre in London Colney to create the Colney Wood.
Arsenal FC has installed a water recycling system at its training centre to reuse water that comes from the pitch – in the last year, more than 4.5 million litres of water has been recycled.
Following the launch of the partnership with Octopus Energy in 2016, Arsenal became the first Premier League club to switch to 100% green electricity.
In partnership with Camden Town Brewery, Arsenal was the first Premier League club to trial the reusable cup scheme during the 2018/19 season. This scheme became fully integrated at the start of the 2019/20 season, saving the use of approximately 20,000 single use plastic cups per game when Emirates Stadium is full.
In October this year, the club launched a partnership with global aluminium packaging company Ball Corporation designed to help the club and its millions of fans around the world reduce their impact on the environment.
The training centre is now 95% single use plastic bottle-free.
The club has introduced more water dispensers across all sites – saving 150,000 single-use plastic water bottles per year .
Arsenal has reduced energy by installing automated LED lighting at all club sites.
Image credit Arsenal FC.