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Arsenal first Premier League club to commit to UN’s climate action initiative

North Londoners hope to “inspire global communities” to be more sustainable.

16 November 2020 Sam Carp

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  • IOC, Fifa and the FA among those already signed up to UN Sports for Climate Action Framework
  • Arsenal ranked as Premier League’s most sustainable club in 2019 BBC study

Top-flight English soccer side Arsenal have become the first Premier League club to commit to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.

By signing up to the initiative, Arsenal have agreed to undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reduce their overall climate impact, educate on climate action, promote sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocate for climate action through communication.

A 2019 study published by the BBC and carried out in partnership with the UN-backed Sport Positive Summit ranked Arsenal as the most sustainable Premier League club. Figures seen by SportsPro in August also showed that the North Londoners’ sustainability efforts saw them save more than 10.7 million kilograms of carbon emissions during 103 home games.

Hywel Sloman, Arsenal’s operations director, said that committing to the Sports for Climate Action Framework reiterates the club’s aim to “inspire our global communities” to commit to “a more sustainable future”.

“Together with our partners, we’ve already implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices across the club,” Sloman added. “This includes becoming the first Premier League club to switch to 100 per cent green electricity since the beginning of our partnership with Octopus Energy in 2016, and a new partnership with aluminium packaging company Ball Corporation which is designed to help us and our millions of fans around the world reduce our impact on the environment.”

Fifa, soccer’s global governing body, England’s Football Association (FA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are among the sporting organisations that have already committed to the framework, which aims to align with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and support the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Other sports bodies that have signed up to the initiative include the French Tennis Federation (FFT), the World Surf League (WSL) and Formula E, among various others. 

Commenting on the addition of Arsenal, Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, sports for climate action lead at UN Climate Change, said: “Football inspires so many of us around the world and there is a remarkable potential for the game to become greener, more climate resilient and lead by example for millions of global fans.

“We are delighted to welcome Arsenal as the first Premier League club to the UN Sports for Climate Action community as we raise awareness of climate change and use this opportunity to make a difference together.”

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