EURO 2024 to set new sustainability standards
At the inaugural Respect Forum in Frankfurt, the German government, the DFB and UEFA commit to ensuring next summer’s finals leave lasting legacy for football, society and the environment.
The German federal government, the national football association (DFB) and UEFA have underlined their determination to work together to ensure that next summer’s UEFA EURO 2024, hosted by Germany, will be the most sustainable European Championships ever.
“EURO 2024 will set a new standard for major sporting events – cooperative, holistic, sustainable before during and after the event,” said Nancy Faeser, German Federal Minister of the Interior and Community on Thursday, addressing the inaugural UEFA Respect Forum at the DFB headquarters in Frankfurt.
"We’re working daily together on this. EURO 2024 is a big opportunity for us to show how sustainability can be a driving force for the event’s success. The legacy is not only for Germany, but all of European football and other sports if we can inspire them."
Sustainability in tournament’s DNA
Andreas Schär, managing director of EURO 2024 GmbH, described how sustainability will be “part of the tournament’s DNA”. For example, the match schedule for the group stages has been designed to minimise travel between the event’s 10 venue cities.
“The match schedules are already set and we have tried to make them sustainable,” said Martin Kallen, CEO of UEFA Events SA, who provided a comprehensive overview of preparations for next year’s tournament.
“Sustainable means that each team plays twice at one venue. This allows the teams to get to know the stadium and gives fans the opportunity to stay at the same venue for two matches. It is a very important part of our sustainability strategy, and when the teams and fans travel we would like them to do so by bus or train.”
As announced in partnership with Deutsche Bahn earlier this month, ticket-holders travelling within the host country will be able to purchase discounted national long-distance train tickets for round trips; in addition, an InterRail pass will be available at a reduced price to ticket holders based outside of Germany.
Once they reach host cities, fans with match tickets will be able to use public transport free-of-charge for 36-hours.
“We want EURO 2024 to lead by example, creating a sustainable model that will apply to all competitions,” said Uva.
Next year’s tournament will also apply UEFA’s new sustainable infrastructure guidelines, which were launched in Mainz, Germany last year, across the 10 stadiums selected to host matches.
The DFB is already leveraging the tournament to show how Germany’s 25,000 registered football clubs and 2.2 million amateur players can put sustainability at the heart of their club cultures.
"We will use this tournament to educate everybody at all levels, in clubs and regional federations, how we can all give an input to take care of our society, our environment for future generations."
With just one year until EURO 2024 kicks off, UEFA’s two-day Respect Forum (June 28-29) brought together over 200 industry experts and stakeholders from across European football at the DFB headquarters to “inspire, activate and accelerate collective action”.
Ullrich cited the Forum as an early example of EURO 2024’s legacy to European football. “This Forum would not have happed here in Frankfurt if not for (EURO 2024),” she said, “so the legacy has already started by working here with you.”