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Tottenham Hotspur join UN’s Race to Zero in bid to be carbon neutral by 2040

Initiative announced as Spurs land joint top spot in Premier League sustainability table.

2 February 2022 Rory Jones

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  • Tottenham aiming to halve carbon emissions by 2030
  • Liverpool join London club at the top of sustainability table

Tottenham Hotspur have joined the United Nations’ (UN) Race to Zero initiative and announced plans to reach carbon net zero emissions by 2040.

Initially citing 2030 as a target to reduce its emissions by half, the Premier League club has now become a signatory for the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Framework.

Spurs currently have a host of green measures in place, such as the use of fully renewable energy and a commitment to zero scope two emissions at their Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The club also utilises LED lighting across the venue and other facilities to reduce energy consumption.

The club discourage the use of single-use plastics across its operations, as well as seeking to reduce water consumption wherever possible.

All current Spurs kits are made from 100 per cent polyester recycled from plastic bottles, and the squad travel to matches on coaches powered by biofuel, reducing emissions by over 80 per cent.

Earlier this season, Spurs staged the world’s first elite level net zero carbon soccer match. Fans were only permitted to walk or use sustainable transport methods to attend the game, while the club increased the number of vegetarian and plant-based meals available at the stadium by 94 per cent.

The game, won 3-0 by Chelsea, also saw UK broadcaster Sky Sports manage to lower the emissions of its production crew by 70 per cent to meet the fixture’s net zero target.

The announcement regarding the UN initiative came as it was confirmed that Spurs have also held on to their spot at the top of the Premier League’s sustainability table for a third consecutive year.

The ranking, produced by the UN-backed Sport Positive summit and the BBC, factors in clubs’ sustainability efforts across eleven categories, with those centred around the impact of matches on the environment and individual sustainability initiatives.

“To have once again been named at the top of the Sport Positive league table is fantastic recognition for the work that continues to be delivered across our organisation – now we must challenge ourselves to go further,” said Donna-Maria Cullen, Tottenham executive director.

“Joining the UN Race to Zero is a significant next step on our journey and provides us with a clear pathway and emission reduction targets that we are prepared to meet.

“We look forward to working collectively with our staff, players, fans, partners and suppliers to achieve our goals.”

Liverpool joined Spurs at the top of the 2021 ranking, also scoring 23 points out of a maximum 24. The Reds were rewarded for planting more than 900 trees, hedges, bushes and wildflower plugs at their academy base, among other initiatives.

The Anfield club plan to utilise sustainable aviation fuel in the future, a move which could reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent.

Billy Hogan, Liverpool chief executive, said: “I think probably like all organisations we’re all concerned about the impact that we have on the environment and on our local communities.”

There is a drive across the Premier League to become more sustainable, with Manchester City also announcing plans to reach carbon net zero emissions by 2030.

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