Mastermind session on sustainability: evolution towards concrete tools in the field

The mastermind session on sustainability during ESSMA Spotlight brought together 10 stadium industry professionals to discuss recent evolutions in energy management including rainwater harvesting and battery storage systems. In general, we feel the question is no longer ‘should we invest in sustainable solutions’ but rather ‘which sustainable solutions are fit for the current budget and will deliver the most value in the particular stadium situation’.

Carbon and environmental footprints

The calculation of the so-called carbon footprints or environmental footprints interest major stakeholders in the stadium industry. Initiatives like the European Climate Act of UEFA and the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework strive towards tangible results. GOALS is the most recent European project, in which both LIFETACKLE and ESSMA collaborate, to support the sustainable development of clubs. 

Tooling for footprint measurement is a goal which is reflected in the three collaboration initiatives, a clear indication of its importance to the sector and its stakeholders.

When looking at specific stadium cases, there is a clear interest in instruments like carbon footprint measurement. The hope is that these instruments can help justify the investment amount needed for integration of sustainable solutions like battery storage systems. These are very useful for stadiums but need to be accompanied by vast investments and preferably with a partner-company. The same analysis goes for rainwater harvesting installations: useful equipment with good results for the environment, but expensive to implement and usage. 


Another, more workable domain is mobility. Although various stadiums have bicycle parking, these remain mostly empty on matchdays. Creative solutions are being thought of like more profitable tickets for those who join the match with public transport. Stimulating matchday staff to set the right example is a tactic used at FC Porto to increase the number of cyclists in the mobility mix of matchday. And finally, specific parking places for hybrid or electric cars with charger are gaining a place in stadium parking lots.

In all, several interesting topics were discussed in this mastermind session. We keep a close eye on initiative in the field and reconnect in the upcoming months! A special thanks goes to FC Porto, Arsenal FC, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Koning Boudewijn Stadium and AVIVA Stadium for their collaboration and willingness to share insights.

Interested to join a mastermind session?

ESSMA Masterminds bring together a select group of participants to discuss a specific topic. The group meets frequently online to discuss stadium related topics and share insights and hurdles with peers who know the context like no other. This Mastermind on ESSMA Spotlight was an open session for our community to get to know the concept. Be sure to keep an eye on your mailbox for your personal invitation towards a topic for a closed session. Particular keen on participating? Let us know via communications@essma.eu.

Only ESSMA Spotlight participants can re-watch the panel discussion

Posted on 23/02/2021 in: