Barça modus operandi key pillar sustainability


First sustainability report of FC Barcelona Image: FC Barcelona

The LaLiga club FC Barcelona (Spain) has published its Sustainability Report for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons that brings together the various activities and policies carried out by the club in areas such as finance, management, sport, society, and the environment.

‘FC Barcelona’ stated that sustainability is one of the three pillars of the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan and in line with that approach the Barça are working to promote sustainability in all its activities.

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, that competes in LaLiga, the top flight of Spanish football.

The under-renovation Camp Nou, branded as Spotify Camp Nou for sponsorship reasons, is the home of the LaLiga club FC Barcelona since its completion in 1957. With a current seating capacity of 99,354, it is the stadium with the largest capacity in Spain and Europe, and the fifth largest football stadium in the world.

Since the Barça residence the Spotify Camp Nou is undergoing major renovation, the FC Barcelona is playing at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in Barcelona, Spain. The club will play all of its home matches at this location for the 2023-2024 seasons.

The 55,926-capacity Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys is a stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition in the City, it was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics and the 1992 Summer Paralympics.

The FC Barcelona’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan has three key pillars: Economic, sports, social, and environmental. Sustainability is one of these pillars. The club is working to promote sustainable development in all its activities. For example, FC Barcelona launched its first non-fungible token (NFT) collection with Plastiks. This collection offsets the equivalent waste produced by four football matches.

‘FC Barcelona’ further stated that organizations have to adapt strategically and operationally to respond to current challenges set by trends in sustainability. As such, to respond to market and social needs and given the organizational complexity and the variety of activities carried out by FC Barcelona, the club decided to develop a Strategic Plan in which sustainability was one of the key principles. The club is committed to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Objectives which are built into the organization’s activities as well as being guided by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) indicators.

Amsterdam (Netherlands)-based the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an international independent standards organization that helps businesses, Governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts on issues such as climate change, human rights and corruption.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international non-Governmental organization made up of national standards bodies that develops and publishes a wide range of proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. The ISO was established in 1947 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the light of the above, and to integrate across the club this strategic and operational decision in different projects and transitional activities, the organization now has a specific Sustainability Department which works with the other departments at the club. As such, the widening and strengthening of FC Barcelona’s activities with regards to sport, society, finance, and the environment have been key in the 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons.

First Analysis of Materiality

To complement this new strategy and after studying the strong and weak points, as well as the club’s experience with regards to relevant international sustainability standards and good practice by the other leading sports clubs, the club began in the 2021-2022 seasons to execute its first materiality analysis in FC Barcelona history. This process led the club to identify areas of economic, social, environmental, and Governmental impact in which the organization participates as priorities for FC Barcelona’s sustainability strategy.

With the results of the analysis, the club has put together a series of operational and functional strategies that are the foundation for the development of the strategic plan for sustainability in its widest sense and the application of standards in areas of society, the environment, finance, and Government. Based on these strengths, the FC Barcelona has developed its plan of action.

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is a set of aspects considered when investing in companies that recommends taking environmental issues, social issues and corporate governance issues into account.

Challenges Successfully Met

Amongst the challenges met over the two seasons, the two Biosphere certificates stand out as recognition that the club and the Museum develop their assets and services in line with a responsible model for society and the environment. The FC Barcelona has also received the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certificate for the Espai Barça project, a recognition that verifies the club has met, so far, the requisites for sustainable urban development set out by BREEAM @ES URBANISMO.

The BREEAM certification mark provides an internationally recognized badge of assurance that the assessment of a project conforms to the requirements of the scheme. The certification mark can be showcased to demonstrate the quality, performance and sustainable credentials of the asset.

The Espai Barça project work on which is underway is a large-scale infrastructure redevelopment project to improve (and expand) all of FC Barcelona’s infrastructure including their training facilities, the Spotify Camp Nou Stadium, Palau Blaugrana, and the club’s offices as well as the commercial and leisure facilities.

The Palau Blaugrana is an arena in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, belonging to FC Barcelona. The 7,585-seating capacity arena is home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal divisions of FC Barcelona. The Palau Blaugrana is located in the same complex that houses the Spotify Camp Nou Stadium.

The BREEAM @ES URBANISMO is a certification that measures and certifies the sustainability of urban development projects. It’s focused on large-scale interventions and developments.

It is also worth mentioning the support and promotion for the women’s professional teams, as well as the updating of the Ethical Code, the improvement in Compliance policies, which during the 2021-2022 and 2020-2021 seasons were updated to bring significant improvements, bringing them in line with policies meeting standards UNE 19601.

The UNE 19601 is the main reference in Spain for designing and implementing systems to prevent criminal risks. It relates to the requirements set out in Law 1/2015 with respect to the crime prevention models.

The other activities include participation in Global Sustainability Benchmark in Sports within the financial area four collections of material from the club’s facilities have been carried out to give them a second life, reduction of electricity consumption via the installation of LED bulbs and the use of electricity from 100 percent renewable resources.

For the upcoming challenges set by the club and its sustainability area, the key areas include calculating the club’s CO2 footprint, the recovery of concrete from the third tier of the current Spotify Camp Nou to recycle it for future use in the Espai Barça project and the continuing implementation of measures to save energy, water and reduce waste amongst others. Similarly, the FC Barcelona as a whole is committed to diversity and inclusion and sees improvements in accessibility, services and digital areas as a challenge with the goal being to offer a better service to all people.

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