The carbon footprint of sports

The world of sports is a significant contributor to global carbon emissions, with events, transportation, and infrastructure all having an impact.

As we strive to create a more sustainable future, it's important to take a closer look at the sports that contribute the most to emissions and what steps they are taking to reduce their impact.

Formula 1: With high-speed cars, international travel, and large crowds, it’s no surprise that Formula 1 tops the list of highest emitting sports. However, the sport is making strides towards sustainability. For example, F1 has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and is exploring alternative fuels such as sustainable biofuels and electrification.

Football is a global sport with millions of fans and thousands of matches being played every year. To address its impact on the environment, many football clubs are investing in renewable energy and implementing sustainability initiatives at their stadiums. For example, the Arsenal Football Club has installed a solar panel system and the Bayern Munich Football Club has a green roof.

The Olympic Games are a showcase of athleticism and human achievement, but they also generate a significant amount of emissions due to travel, infrastructure, and events. The International Olympic Committee has set a goal to make the Olympic Games carbon neutral by 2025 and is working with organizers and host cities to reduce emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Golf courses require a lot of energy for maintenance, and golf tournaments often involve significant travel for players, fans, and equipment. To address this, many golf courses are implementing sustainability initiatives such as water conservation, energy efficiency, and reducing pesticide use. The PGA Tour has also established a sustainability program, with the goal of reducing the Tour’s carbon footprint by 25% by 2030.

Basketball. With fast-paced action and a large following, basketball also generates a significant amount of emissions. The NBA is working to reduce its impact through initiatives such as sustainable arena design, energy efficiency, and reducing waste. 

It’s encouraging to see that many of the highest emitting sports are taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment. By working together, we can create a more sustainable future for all.

Alan Stenson, CEO of Neutral Carbon Zone