Theme: Green Sports
By Dela Ahiawor
Liverpool Football Club have become the second (2nd) English Premier League club and the 177th signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. The first Premier League club to sign the initiative was Arsenal.
A little over two years, after it was unveiled in December 2018, the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework has garnered 177 signatories across the globe at the time of publishing this article.
Liverpool Football Club is therefore the latest sports organization to commit to
the five (5) principles of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework:
- Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility.
- Reduce overall climate impact.
- Educate for Climate.
- Promote sustainable and responsible consumption.
- Advocate for Climate.
By signing the aforementioned declaration, sporting organizations support the goals of the Paris Agreement in reducing the global temperature rise to 1.5 Degree Celsius above pre-order industrial levels.
The Sports for Climate Action Framework
The Sports for Climate Action initiative aims to provide sports organizations with a forum where organizations can pursue climate action in a consistent and mutually supportive fashion by learning from each other, disseminating good practices, lessons learned, developing new tools, and collaborating on areas of mutual interest.
The initiative further aims at supporting and guiding sports actors in achieving climate change goals.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC’s Sports for Climate Action Framework was launched by the global sports community and UN Climate change at the COP24 Conference in Katowise, Poland in December 2018. The initiative seeks to bring sports organizations, fans, athletes, and teams together to raise awareness and action to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The initiative further aims to drive emissions reduction in sports operations and tap the popularity and passion of sports to engage millions of fans.
The Red Way Initiative
Equally important, Liverpool FC is poised to enhance its sustainability credentials by launching a new initiative dubbed “The Red Way,” to show the club’s commitment to a more sustainable future.
The Red Way is an easy way to understand how the club is contributing to a better future for the Reds (Liverpool FC) to come by pulling together all of its sustainability-related activity under one initiative.
According to Andy Hughes, the club’s managing director: “As a club we take our responsibilities for the people we work with, our communities and our planet seriously and that is clear from the amount of sustainability work that has been going on around the club for a long time.”
By launching The Red Way, we are bringing all of that activity under one umbrella so that we can illustrate to our supporters and the people we work with what sustainability is, why it’s important, and how we’re helping to tackle key issues.”
Liverpool FC’s commitment to sustainability revolves around three (3) distinct pillars.
Our People – reflecting how the club enables the people it works with to broaden their skills and knowledge, and make a positive difference
Our Communities – the extensive work undertaken by the club’s Red Neighbours initiative and LFC Foundation, both locally and further afield
Our Planet – how the club is making a positive difference in the way it impacts the environment
Some of the ways the club is contributing to a more sustainable future include:
Encouraging staff to volunteer to help local communities, totalling 432 hours in the 2019-20 season.
Professionally training 26 staff to become mental health first aiders.
In the 2019-20 season, LFC Foundation delivered more than 7,000 sessions to nearly 20,000 unique participants.
Across the last three seasons, the club’s Red Neighbours initiative has facilitated the donation of 37.5 tonnes of food to the North Liverpool Foodbank, supporting 12,500 individuals or families across the city.
Growing vegetables in a local allotment the size of a football pitch, which are served at Anfield on matchdays.
Offsetting 435 tonnes of CO2, enabling the club to become carbon neutral for its direct activities.
Encouraging biodiversity by planting 635 new trees and 6,000 plants at the club’s new AXA Training Centre.