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UEFA backs sustainability-focused start-ups

February 22 2024 - News Release News Editorial

UEFA, football’s European governing body, has outlined its ambition to leave a positive lasting legacy for Champions League final host cities after including a trio of sustainability-focused start-ups in its Champions Innovate scheme.

UEFA backs sustainability-focused start-ups

Pavegen, My Emissions and Pledgeball have all been tasked with developing pilot projects responding to social and environmental challenges in the build-up to this year’s final at Wembley Stadium in London.

Champions Innovate is supported by UEFA’s commercial partners, with PepsiCo, Just Eat Takeaway.com and Mastercard paired with the start-ups. The initiative also involves the Football Association in England, the Greater London Authority and London & Partners.

Pavegen will work alongside PepsiCo, on a project to transform fans’ footsteps into clerical energy to help power the final. Pavegen’s expertise is in smart flooring technology, with the pilot of the project to be tested at the Champions Festival at London’s Trafalgar Square.

My Emissions will work with Just Eat Takeaway to bring choice and innovation to Wembley and the Champions League fan zone, while educating fans on more healthy and sustainable options.

Working with Mastercard, Pledgeball will focus on fan engagement and harnessing the power, passion and reach of football fans to create tangible, effective solutions for communities within fintech and digital channels.

Three workshops will be held in London to give participants an opportunity to receive guidance and insights, and each start-up will be invited to demonstrate the impact of their work at an event at London’s City Hall on May 30, two days before the Champions League final.

A jury will then decide the winner of the top €45,000 prize on top of a €30,000 award for all three start-ups for carrying out the work.

Image: Mitch Rosen on Unsplash

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