AELTC, WSL announce environmental ventures

05 Jun 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has become the latest major sporting body to commit to the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action Framework, while the World Surf League (WSL) has launched a series of sustainability commitments that it says will set a new standard for global professional sports.

By joining the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the AELTC pledges to implement the principles enshrined in the Sports for Climate Action Framework and commits to working collaboratively with its peers and relevant stakeholders to develop, implement and enhance the climate action agenda within the sport industry.

AELTC will seek to lead this drive by using the strength of the Wimbledon brand to advocate for the message that concerted collaborative action is needed.

Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of the AELTC, said: “We believe that Wimbledon, along with other major events, has a vital role to play in helping to protect the environment, today and for the future, and we are proud to be a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.

“We will play our part not just through our actions on our grounds, both year-round and during The Championships, but in the way we collaborate with our partners, and the way we can use the reach of Wimbledon to help support this important cause.”

The AELTC announced in 2018 that protecting the environment was a significant focus as part of the development of its sustainability goals and objectives. It has started to make some progress through the following measures: the sourcing of renewable electricity, the removal of unnecessary plastic from its operation such as plastic straws and plastic bags for racket stringing, the launch of a new 100% recycled, recyclable water bottle in partnership with evian, the use of recycled plastic for furniture, trialling electric cars in its courtesy car fleet, and the launch of an educational activation area for the public to highlight the possibilities of a greener future.

AELTC last month revealed some sustainability plans as part of a wider announcement addressing the future of Wimbledon.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “High-profile sporting events such as Wimbledon are uniquely placed to advocate for and drive global change. I am pleased that Wimbledon has chosen to use its global leadership position to help us address the world’s greatest challenge: climate change.”

Other notable signatories to the framework to date include the IOC, Roland-Garros, Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024, FIFA, Formula E and the USTA.

Meanwhile, the WSL’s venture, designed to inspire, educate and empower ocean lovers while addressing critical environmental issues, applies to all WSL Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour events.

The initiative centres on the three key goals of becoming carbon neutral globally by the end of 2019; eliminating single-serve plastics by the end of 2019; and leaving each WSL Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour stop better than it was found.

This effort builds on the WSL’s existing ocean conservation efforts, including WSL PURE, its non-profit arm, which stands for Protecting Understanding and Respecting the Environment. As part of its latest announcement, the WSL is also launching a global marketing campaign and inviting members of the ocean community to make the PURE pledge to “Stop Trashing Waves” and join a worldwide paddle out on 15th June in honour of International Surfing Day, founded by the Surfrider Foundation. 

“The WSL is incredibly proud to break new ground in sports in the urgent battle against climate change and ocean pollution,” said WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “We believe it’s our responsibility to be ‘all in’ with our efforts to protect the ocean and beaches amid the devastating climate crisis we all face. We invite everyone who cares about the ocean to join us.”

The Stop Trashing Waves creative features pro surfers Conner Coffin, Filipe Toledo, Carissa Moore, Coco Ho, Tatiana Weston Webb, Paige Alms, Greg Long, Kai Lenny, and Bianca Valenti and will appear across social media and other platforms.