Sky has launched its ‘Sky Sports Summer of Sustainability’ campaign to encourage sports fans to take action and protect the sports they love from climate change, by inspiring them to reduce their carbon footprint when travelling to venues.
In partnership with the ECB and The R&A, Sky will use advertising, social media and unique experiences to raise the profile of the carbon footprint of fan travel and inspire fans to travel green. Green travel options for fan travel include walking, cycling, lift sharing or using public transport where possible.
The campaign will focus on fans travelling to The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool (16th July – 23rd July) and The Hundred (Emirates Old Trafford, 5th and 7th August and Edgbaston, 10th and 13th August).
Sports as we know and love them are already being threatened by climate change, from flooded pitches and wildfires delaying play, to athletes experiencing heat-exhaustion. The Met Office declared last month as the hottest June on record in the UK, stating climate change is the cause of the record high temperatures. This follows new record-high daily temperatures being recorded across the UK last July, when extreme temperatures above 40°C were recorded, as the UK was impacted by an unprecedented heatwave.
Fan travel is the largest contributor to the carbon footprint of sporting events. Research shows that more than 85% of greenhouse gas emissions related to major sporting events are caused by travel, as well as accommodation of guests (1). Research following Sky’s Game Zero in 2021 found that 93% of emissions from the matchday came from fan travel and accommodation (2). Game Zero was the world’s first net zero carbon football match at an elite level.
Research from Sky and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in 2021 revealed that 70% of consumers are willing to change their behaviour when it comes to protecting the environment. Further, Sky’s research shows that Sky Sports customers aware of the Sky Zero campaign to reach net zero carbon show a greater claimed willingness to make sustainable changes to protect the environment compared to those not aware of the campaign (3). Sky is using its reach and voice to inspire behavioural changes amongst fans attending sporting events and those watching at home. Sky aims for sports fans to commit to taking 1 million more green journeys when travelling to future sports events.
To engage with fans around the carbon footprint of their travel, those attending The 151st Open and The Hundred can take part in Sky’s Walk of Fame. This is a unique green screen experience that promotes the different ways fans can travel green, whilst giving them the opportunity to have some fun and recreate the walks of their sporting heroes. At The 151st Open, fans will walk down a recreated 18th hole at Royal Liverpool, celebrating their place in the ‘greatest walk in golf’. At The Hundred, fans will recreate the iconic walk to the wicket at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The experiences will be filmed for fans to share with their friends and family to inspire them to travel green and play their part in protecting the sports they love.
Jonathan Licht, Managing Director of Sky Sports said: “Climate change is threatening the sports we love. Flooding and droughts could cause huge disruption to fans’ experience at venues across the UK. That’s why we’ve partnered with the ECB and The R&A to launch the Summer of Sustainability campaign. We’re using our voice to help fans travel green and take action against the climate crisis so there is always a place to play”
Sanjay Patel, Managing Director of The Hundred, said: “Cricket is one of the sports most susceptible to climate change and we must work together as a game to inspire sustainable action.
“We are proud to be able to support Sky Sports and the Sky Zero campaign again this summer as they help to encourage and educate fans on ways they can make greener choices when they travel to The Hundred matches.”
Arlette Anderson, Director of Sustainability at The R&A, said: “Our Greenlinks programme ensures that sustainability is firmly rooted in our plans to stage The Open while allowing us to use the Championship as a platform to engage with fans and make them aware of how they can play their part in contributing to positive outcomes for the environment. Together with our partners at Sky, we are encouraging fans to carefully consider their travel plans for The Open and use transport that has less impact on the environment.”
In February 2020 Sky set its commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030, two decades ahead of the government’s target. To get there, Sky will cut the carbon emissions created by the business, its suppliers across the world and from the use of its tech products, by at least 50%. Sky’s nature strategy will help offset the remaining emissions that can’t currently be cut.
For more information on this campaign, sports fans can go to skysports.com/skyzero and find out how together we can make sure there’s always a place to play.