Arsenal at the vanguard of green practices


Arsenal and sustainability Image: Arsenal FC

The Premier League football club Arsenal F.C. (UK) has signed up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. By signing up, Arsenal has set a first for a Premier League football club to do so.

Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, London, UK, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football.

The Emirates Stadium is a football stadium in Highbury, England, and serves as the home of Arsenal F.C. With a capacity of 60,704 it is the fourth-largest football stadium in England after Wembley Stadium, Old Trafford and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Arsenal joins the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA and the English Football Association (FA) as signatories to the initiative.

The UN Sports for Climate Action Framework will provide sports organizations with a forum where participants can pursue climate action in a consistent and mutually supportive fashion by learning from each other, disseminating good practices, lessons learned, developing new tools, and collaborating on areas of mutual interest.

The entire initiative has been designed to bring together the sports community under one umbrella with a commitment to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and support the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016.

Signatories to the initiative adhere to five key principles: Undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating on climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.

Arsenal has shown a lot of environmental responsibility and last year, Arsenal topped a study by the BBC and the UN-backed Sport Positive Summit on sustainability among Premier League clubs. By signing up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, Arsenal hopes to build on the work it does in the sector and the club is encouraging supporters to take positive climate action.

Last month, Arsenal reached an agreement with Ball Corporation through a wide-ranging partnership between the aluminum packaging products manufacturer and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE). As Arsenal’s official sustainable aluminum beverage packaging partner, Ball will explore ways to support the club in reducing its carbon footprints and help with educational initiatives about the importance of recycling and other green practices.

In 2018, Arsenal became the first football club in the UK to set up large-scale battery energy storage with a system that can power their home facility – Emirates Stadium – for an entire match or the equivalent of 2,700 homes for two hours.

The club also has an arrangement with Octopus Energy that delivers renewably supplied electricity to the Emirates Stadium.

Hywel Sloman, Arsenal’s Operations Director, maintained, “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.”

Sloman added, “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 percent green electricity since the beginning of our partnership with Octopus Energy in 2016, and a new partnership with aluminum 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, added, “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.”

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