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Tottenham join UN Race to Zero initiative and outline net zero by 2040 pledge

Tottenham commit to halving carbon emissions by 2030 and issue 2040 net zero target after joining United Nations' Race to Zero initiative; Spurs hosted world's first zero carbon football match - #GameZero - in conjunction with Sky Sports in September 2021

General view image outside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Tottenham Hotspur have unveiled plans to halve their carbon emissions by 2030 and become net carbon zero by 2040 after joining the UN Race to Zero initiative.

The latest pledge comes a year after Spurs became a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which supports and guides sports organisations globally to achieve climate change goals, and sees the north London club join Liverpool, Southampton, Arsenal and Manchester City in committing to net-zero targets.

The Race to Zero initiative was launched at last year's COP26 summit in Glasgow and aims to rally non-state actors - companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions - to take rigorous and immediate action to work towards achieving net zero carbon with transparent action plans and robust targets.

It was also announced on Wednesday that Tottenham have topped the Premier League sustainability table for a third successive year, joint-top with Liverpool.

Produced by the UN-backed Sport Positive Summit, the 2021 Green League systematically collates key environmental sustainability information for every Premier League football club into a table matrix.

"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," Donna-Maria Cullen, executive director at Tottenham, said.

The lake and fountain in the background is used with recycled water from the training ground campus
Image: The lake and fountain in the background is used with recycled water from Tottenham's training ground campus

"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."

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In September, Sky partnered with Spurs to host the world's first net zero carbon elite-level football match, with Chelsea running out 3-0 winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Baseline emissions from a typical Tottenham home game were measured and net zero was achieved by lowering those emissions as much as possible, and offsetting emissions that could not be reduced through a community reforestation project in east Africa, which removes carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

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Tottenham players Eric Dier and Ben Davies, and Vivo Power CEO Kevin Chin discuss September's Game Zero fixture between Spurs and Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which was the world's first net zero carbon elite football match

How #GameZero emission were reduced

  • Players arrived at the stadium on coaches powered by green biodiesel which helped lower squad travel emissions by over 80 per cent
  • Fans walked 36,000 miles and drove 225,000 miles in electric or hybrid cars to and from the game
  • 94 per cent more vegetarian and plant-based meals sold at this match, compared to the baseline game
  • Sky achieved a 70 per cent reduction in emissions from the Sky Sports production crew covering the match

Spurs and Liverpool top Sport Positive sustainability league

Tottenham and Liverpool have been recognised as the greenest clubs in the Premier League.

The two clubs are joint-top of the Sport Positive sustainability league, which is an independent environmental sustainability table, which looks at all clubs across the Premier League and measures their environmental credentials.

Spurs and Liverpool scored 23 points out of a maximum of 24, showing their holistic commitment to environmental sustainability through every part of the organisation.

Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan said: "This is a great achievement for the club, as we continue to create and build a sustainable business, and a sustainable club. Congratulations to Tottenham Hotspur who we share this top spot with.

"As a football club with a global fanbase we're proud to be leading the way on important environmental issues. The Red Way has achieved a lot in its first year. There is so much more to do, but the club has created a solid foundation and is committed to building on this achievement. As we move forward, we will constantly evaluate the way we operate, to operate in the most sustainable way.

"We will continue to strive to provide the tools and opportunities for everyone connected to the club to take meaningful actions that will create a healthy planet and thriving communities."

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