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Sustainability round-up: March 2

March 02 2023

This week’s sustainability round-up includes Sunderland AFC’s use of solar power on its journey to becoming energy self-sufficient, while the newly renovated CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore showcases the green benefits of not building from scratch. The round-up also highlights FIFA’s growth plans and its commitment to the environment; Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can With You’ campaign and the Royal Yachting Association Cymru’s plans to reduce its carbon footprint.

Sustainability round-up: March 2

English Championship club Sunderland AFC has unveiled a new sustainability strategy to reduce its impact on the environment. Goals include being energy self-sufficient from renewable sources by 2028 while also providing energy to the National Grid. This is at the forefront of the new sustainability strategy, with plans for a 40mW solar farm at the Academy of Light. Sunderland will also address waste and water use. 

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The newly renovated CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, US, has celebrated its soft reopening before a grand opening in April with a performance from Bruce Springsteen. Operator Oak View Group decided to go down the renovation route as opposed to building a new stadium following a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by engineering firm Buro Happold that revealed that there would be major embodied carbon benefits by renovating. 

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Last week, FIFA revealed record revenues totalling around £6.3bn ($7.6bn) with plans for further growth. However, has this rise in income come at a cost to the planet? According to a report from the BBC, labelling the most recent World Cup in Qatar as ‘carbon neutral’ was ‘misleading and dangerous’. The majority of sport’s carbon footprint comes from fan travel and it was estimated that roughly one million supporters travelled to Qatar for the World Cup last year. 

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Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign has launched ‘This Girl Can With You’, which is a call to arms to the sector to break down the barriers that mean women continue to remain less physically active than men. The new phase will focus on breaking down the enjoyment gap that exists between men and women, with research showing that 2.4 million fewer women than men strongly agree they find sport and exercise enjoyable. 

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The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Cymru has made a move to reduce its impact on the environment. There are currently around 70 youth and junior sailors taking part in sailing performance programmes across Wales, meaning roughly 70,000 miles are rack up in travelling. To reduce its carbon footprint, the RYA has taken possession of eight vehicle trailers to carry up to three stacked boats. This will enable more car sharing and fewer journeys, cutting overall miles on the road by more than a third. 

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Image: Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

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