By Dela Ahiawor
Southampton Football Club has become the fourth (4th) English Premier League club and the 186th signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Actions Framework.
So far, four (4) Premier League clubs have signed the initiative: Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton. And two of them have launched sustainability strategies: Liverpool’s (The Red Way) and Southampton’s (The Halo Effect). A little over two years, after it was unveiled in December 2018, the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework has garnered 189th signatories across the globe at the time of publishing this article.
Joining the framework means Southampton Football Club is committed to the five (5) principles of the UN Sports for Climate Actions 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 Actions Framework
The Sports for Climate Actions 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 Actions 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 organization to engage millions of fans.
Speaking on the Saint’s commitment to the initiative, Sports for Climate Lead, UN Climate Change, Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu said : “Climate change is like no opponent humanity has ever known. And while the challenge may seem too difficult, especially in the time of Pandemic, the Saints are taking it on.” “We welcome Southampton FC in UN Sports for Climate Action and congratulate them for their commitment to play their part in our collective global efforts to address climate change and to keep action and momentum going.”
Furthermore, Tim Greenwell, Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Southampton FC, added: “As a Premier League football club, it is important that we use our platform to inspire positive change to ensure a sustainable future.” “We’re proud of the work we’ve already undertaken to address our own environmental impact but we know there is more that the club can do to protect our planet.”
The Halo Effect
Also, Southampton launched its sustainability strategy dubbed, THE HALO EFFECT on Monday, January 25. This is a commitment to ensure a sustainable future for the club, the fan base and the community; in line with the the vision of the UN Sports for Climate Actions Framework. The Halo Effect has a dual meaning, inspired by Southampton’s crest and it’s heritage. This highlights the combined positive impact the club’s numerous initiatives seeks to achieve amongst its fans and their community.
The Saints’ new sustainability initiative, The Halo Effect aims to plant 250 trees every time an academy player makes their first-team debut in the bid to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.