Action Day – Sustainability and Climate Change

13 April 2022

Action Day – Sustainability and Climate Change

Sustainability is getting more and more important. Climate change and associated environmental crises present the single biggest threat to sustainable development. We are using the 4th of April to showcase how sport organisations take action and promote sustainability. 

Climate change requires collective action from everyone, including the football world. On a day-to-day basis, the impacts of climate change play out through extreme and abnormal weather. Heatwaves and floods which used to be “once in a century” events are becoming more regular occurrences. The pandemic made us rethink and saw us contributing to more sustainability in sports and society. We have gathered a few examples of sustainability initiatives below:

VFL Wolfsburg

VfL Wolfsburg is setting new standards in CO2 transparency. In order to raise awareness on the topic of climate protection, VfL will publish detailed CO2 information in cooperation with the start-up Yook for merchandise and ticket sales in the Wolves’ shop. This integration of CO2 information in the online shop should enable more sustainable consumption. Anyone who shops in the Wölfeshop from now on will find out that travelling to a home game by car results in an average of 9 kilograms of CO2 or that a fan scarf causes 2.5 kilograms of CO2 through production and shipping. With one click in the ordering process, fans can directly offset the CO2 emissions of their purchases. Climate compensation is based on a combination of international forest protection and regional reforestation. For Nico Briskorn, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Green-Whites, this is an ideal way to raise awareness for the issue of climate protection: “You can’t change what you don’t know about. Therefore, we create CO2 transparency and can thus take more targeted climate protection measures and enable our fans to join in with just one click.”

Real Betis Balompie

With the ‘Forever Green match’ the Spanish club aimed to raise awareness and mobilise society against climate change through various actions. The team played in a special kit made from recycled material.

Real Betis Balompié and professional football once again showed their commitment against the climate crisis with the Forever Green match, LaLiga’s first sustainability match. The Real Betis-Athletic Club match on 13 March was the first match with the objective of protecting the environment, through different actions on the day of the match. After a year and a half of Forever Green, the sustainability platform promoted by Real Betis Balompié, the Club launched this pioneering initiative in the world of football with a special focus on raising awareness among the general public and all fans of our sport.

For this match, Real Betis used a sustainable kit, made from 100% recycled polyester, which was presented that week and which fans are able to purchase in the Club’s official shops. Also during this week prior to the match, the Forever Green trainers, made with recycled and sustainable materials by people with disabilities, were be presented. In addition, the green and white club promoted sustainable transport for fans to the Estadio Benito Villamarín on the day of the match. To this end, through the Clubs’ agreement with Lime, all those attending the match were given a discount code to use the company’s electric bicycles to get to the stadium.


The Alcoraz Foundation and ICT planted an area equivalent to 40 basketball courts in the town of Zaragoza. The ‘Play your part’ project closes the reforestation circle. The initiative set up by the Alcoraz Foundation and ICT, the leading tissue paper manufacturing group, through its Foxy brand, repopulated an area equivalent to 40 basketball courts, one hectare, this Tuesday in the Zaragoza town of Alagón. After doing the same in the Teruel town of Calamocha, with the collaboration of the Teruel Volleyball Club, and another in the Huesca town of Siétamo, with the help of SD Huesca, on this occasion Casademont Zaragoza took part in the action with two of its players: Rodrigo San Miguel and Javier García.

Play your part’ is a Corporate Social Responsibility action that aims to repopulate three hectares, one in each Aragonese province, with the collaboration of various leading sports clubs in Aragon and local and provincial entities. The aim is to improve different green areas in the territory, contribute to protecting the Ebro river basin, help rehabilitate the soil and create windbreaks to help protect crops. In this way, together they will do their bit in the fight against global warming, complying with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda in the fight against climate change.


The contribution of sport to development is acknowledged by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to UN, sport can have strong positive impact on the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Education’s quality.
  • Gender equality.
  • Economic growth and availability of decent job opportunities.
  • Reduction of poverty and malnutrition.
  • Proper water management and sanitation.
  • Peace and justice.
  • Responsible consumption and production.
  • Protection of the environment and climate action.
  • Sustainability of cities and communities.
  • Reduction of inequalities.
  • Affordable and clean energy.
  • Innovation for a proper and sustainable industry and infrastructure.

SDG Striker is a project that aimes to motivate the football federations and clubs of different European countries to disseminate and attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by testing and assessing the potential replication of best practices in their sport events and infrastructure. Some of these best practices are:

  •     The substitution of artificial turf by more sustainable alternatives in Norwegian sport facilities.
  •     The installation of renewable energy systems in Portuguese sport facilities.
  •     The improvement on energy efficiency in Scottish football installations and the palliation of energy poverty in Scotland through the football community.


The Greenfoot project will develop and implement a community-based financing scheme for renovating football buildings including stadiums, practice facilities and related buildings (e.g. team headquarters, fitness centres) with energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. The central social innovation of GREENFOOT is to develop creative crowdfunding investment packages that allow sports fans and community members to partner with their favourite clubs to improve energy use, fight climate change and contribute to a cleaner local environment. The project includes international football organisations as partners, a strong link with UEFA that EFDN looks forward to collaborating with. The concept is to finance football building energy efficiency renovations and renewable energy installations through a crowd-funding scheme that propels Europeans to become active participants in the energy transition through their love of football. Read more about the Greenfoot programme here.


  • Celebrate staff involved in your sustainability programmes
  • Launch campaign against climate change
  • Hosting webinars/online meetings to share resources
  • Sending sustainability resources to community organisations
  • Highlight projects that get active against climate change
  • Wherever possible, create social media content (photos/videos) with beneficiaries and participants of your sustainability initiatives

Please use #morethanfootball and feel free to tag our #Morethanfootball social media accounts so we can share your posts and activities.