Football should take care of environment as it takes care of other issues, for instance racism.

A survey conducted under the GreenCoach Erasmus+ funded project found that football clubs find it equally important for football to address the environmental problem as other serious challenges.

A survey conducted to 1900 respondents in five countries (Belgium, France, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden) and by the national UEFA Federation representatives in each country was conducted as part of the EU Erasmus+ funded project GreenCoach during the summer of 2020.

This article pays special attention to the results of 102 respondents from Norway, highlighting a few of the differences from the other countries in the project. Note that 70% of our respondents are staff, while the average is 24,8%.

This could explain some of the deviations, for example the fact that Norwegian have higher confidence regarding knowledge about environmental impact of sports events.

Is equally important to protect the environment

As we see from the graph below, most clubs agree to the mission; it is equally important to protect the environment as other problems football experiences; violence, racism, and others.

This, obviously, sends a clear message to the governing bodies. The Norwegian FA already have embraced the same thinking and implemented ambitious targets in the current 4-year strategic plan, approved in the assembly in March of this year. And the FA plays an important part, according to the clubs; they point to the FA when asked “who could be more effective in the monitoring and reduction of environmental impact of football”; NFF gets 4,34 out of 5, clubs 4,18, both higher than facility owners (4,18).

This could be explained by a higher emphasis on reducing waste and plastic consumption (often club responsibility), rather than focus on reducing consumption of water (turf irrigation) and energy (lights, turf warming), often facility owner’s responsibility.

This differs significantly, but not alarmingly from the other countries. GreenCoach will be looking more closely into these topics in the time to come, including mobility of fans, as mobility, energy and water consumption is of great importance if we are to reduce the total negative impact on the environment from our sport.

What is alarming is the seemingly low interest of knowing the environmental footprint of organization and sport event. 30% report they are indifferent or have little or no interest of knowing this for their organization, close to 40% when it comes to sport event.

Hopefully creating the benchmarking tool (one of the GreenCoach main objectives) will change this in a positive direction.

Knowledge, public incentives, local municipal regulations and pressure from football institutions are pointed to as the most important needs regarding environmental planning, with the three latest of almost equal importance.

This is similar to the total answers from all countries. The other countries have more focus on pressure from fans, but overall, we are more or less equal.

“To sum it up; we have work to be done, but the attitude is in place”