One of Spain’s most storied soccer squads laid down a new marker for sports teams looking to get serious about the carbon footprint when players ditched their private jet and travelled to a match by train instead.
The decision by FC Barcelona, the top team in Spain’s Primera División, had “some of the world’s greatest football players” taking the train to play against Getafe CF in Madrid April 16, Bloomberg Green reports.
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“We decided to do this trip to state that the club wants to be a solution to climate change, and not a problem,” said the club’s sustainability director, Jordi Portabella. “We want to increase the number of trips we make by train instead of plane.”
European soccer “remains a laggard when it comes to taking basic steps to address its climate impact such as systematically calculating its direct greenhouse gas emissions and those of fans travelling to see matches,” Bloomberg writes. “But over the past few months, dozens of symbolic initiatives have emerged, from clubs serving vegan food in stadiums to players biking to training grounds and wearing climate stripes, a popular data visualization of global warming, on their kits.”
Barça, as FC Barcelona is known, has switched to LED lighting and begun sourcing electricity from renewable power over the last year, the news story states. Now, “while the train was chartered—which alone isn’t as green as riding public transport—the club said their deal with Spain’s national railway company Renfe included a request that the trip be powered by renewable energy.”
Portabella said Barça players and staff “actually enjoyed the 2.5-hour ride from Barcelona to Madrid,” Bloomberg adds. When they reached their destination, the two teams played to a 0-0 tie.
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