Bundesliga, the highest caliber and most popular professional soccer league in Germany, is making major strides toward environmental protection and sustainability. Going forward, all of the clubs in the league will be mandated to sell beverages in reusable cups.
Due to a new law in Germany, called the Packaging Act, all companies that sell takeaway drinks are now obligated to use reusable packaging at no additional cost to customers. For food, the clubs are still allowed to use disposable packaging, but only if it is made out of pure cardboard, wood, or aluminum.
Bundesliga’s efforts to become more environmentally sustainable go beyond simply following its country’s new laws, however. Starting next year, the league will implement even more measures, including selling plant-based bratwursts and using “climate logos” on armbands to promote awareness around the overheating of our planet.
These types of actions already put Bundesliga at the forefront of the sustainability movement in terms of European soccer leagues. The league says that it wants to become the most sustainable sports league in the world. For that title, it will have to beat out the current leader, Formula E racing.
Some of the Bundesliga clubs have been on the sustainability trend for years, with clubs like SC Freiburg, which has equipped its stadium with one of the world’s largest solar roofs, and SV Werder Bremen, which has thousands of bicycle parking spots outside its stadium.
In addition, many of the clubs’ uniforms are made from fully recycled polyester.
“The clubs’ self-motivation is high right now, because stakeholders are demanding more sustainability,” said Tanja Ferkau, founder and managing director of the German non-governmental organization IMPCT, which helped develop the DFL’s sustainability standards. “The pressure here has increased massively in the last 18 months.”
The next steps are to convince the clubs that have been reticent to make changes and to set and reach goals for leaguewide clean energy usage. According to Environmental Action Germany, this could include banning short-haul flights and encouraging players to ride their bikes to games.
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