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Championing sustainability at UEFA club finals


From measuring carbon footprint and optimising waste management to ensuring accessibility and inclusion at matches, here’s all you need to know about our ongoing efforts to make UEFA club finals as sustainable as possible.

As the excitement builds for the UEFA club competition finals this spring, it's not just the thrilling matches that take centre stage. This year, social and environmental sustainability continues to play a significant role in our event operations, as we implement a comprehensive array of 303 actions across the four finals, covering 37 topics to champion respect for the environment, social inclusivity and community engagement.

Universal sustainability measures across all finals

🌳 Climate and environment

Carbon footprint measurement: From kick-off to the final whistle, we are committed to understanding and mitigating the environmental impact of the finals by meticulously measuring our carbon emissions thanks to the UEFA Carbon Footprint Calculator.

Climate fund: After assessing the event-related emissions, we will take responsibility for those we could not mitigate. This will be achieved through the creation of a climate fund, which will support climate protection projects initiated by the associations that hosted the events.

Catering sustainability: Food at concessions and hospitality areas in all stadiums will adhere to UEFA's healthy and sustainable catering guidelines. These provide practical advice for making responsible and sustainable choices in food and beverage selection, preparation, communication and waste management.

Stadium sustainability certification: Each stadium hosting the finals proudly holds sustainability certifications.

  • ISO20121 - Sustainable Event Management (London and Dublin)
  • ISO50001 - Energy Management (Dublin)
  • LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Bilbao)
  • Local certification for management of mixed recyclable waste collected from the stadium (Athens)
♿ Inclusion, protection and accessibility

Audio-descriptive commentary: To enhance inclusivity, all finals will feature audio-descriptive commentary (ADC) in both the local language and the languages of the competing teams, fostering a more immersive experience for blind and visually impaired fans. Headsets can be picked up at the stadiums in London and Dublin. In Athens and Bilbao, an online service will be available everywhere in the world. Spectators at the stadium should bring their own mobile phones to connect to the internet.

Disability access officers: UEFA works with the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) to ensure that access and inclusion for people with disabilities are integrated into every level of the game. All competing clubs are required to appoint a disability access officer (DAO), who is responsible for improving access for disabled people (on both matchdays and non-matchdays) and ensuring continued progress in this important area.

Fan festivals: In Dublin, Athens and London, supporters can witness and experience the work of some of our accessible football partners at the fan festivals. From blind football with IBSA, to football for all with the Homeless World Cup or Special Olympics, we are committed to demonstrating how the beautiful game is for everyone.

Online abuse monitoring: In alignment with our ongoing efforts to combat online abuse, robust monitoring mechanisms will be in place at all finals to ensure a safe and respectful online environment for all players, coaches, match officials and fans.

Smoke-free finals: We have made all venues for our club competition finals smoke-free to protect people from the harmful effects of tobacco.

📣 Advocating action

FootbALL campaign: We will promote our FootbALL campaign on giant screens and LED boards, aiming to showcase how the sport can be a catalyst to foster positive change in society, with a simple yet significant message: in football, everyone is welcome.

Green Deal campaign: LED boards at matches will showcase the European Commission’s flagship EU Green Deal, promoting messages on saving energy and encouraging people to take everyday steps to help combat the current energy crisis in Europe. The partnership between UEFA and the European Commission is a reminder of how important it is for European football to support societal priorities.

Road safety campaign: We will also use the international appeal of our club competition finals to highlight the UN's global campaign for road safety, which aims to halve the number of traffic deaths worldwide by 2030.

Venue-specific highlights

🇮🇪 UEFA Europa League final – Dublin

Accessibility: Detailed information on accessibility at the Dublin Arena can be found here.

Food Waste Heroes programme: with our partner OLIO, a food donation programme will be in place.

Public transport initiative: In Dublin, match ticket holders will benefit from free public transport in the city on matchday, to encourage sustainable travel to and from the venue.

Reusable cups: Concessions will serve beverages in reusable cups, reducing single-use plastic waste.

Deposit return scheme: A new concept deposit return scheme is in place for soft plastic bottles (+15 cents deposit). There will be special bins around the concourse to collect the bottles post-match, and the money collected will go to a stadium foundation project.

Sensory room: a sensory room is available at the Europa League final, providing a multisensory space to children and adults with sensory issues. It delivers a total sensory management system, which reduces sensory overload and disruption.

Waste management: A pioneering food bio-processor will transform organic waste into compost-like products, setting new standards for waste management.

Fan festival: Check out the full social activities programme of the Dublin fan festival!

🇪🇸 UEFA Women’s Champions League final – Bilbao

Accessibility: Detailed information on accessibility at San Mamés stadium can be found here.

Public transport initiative: Volunteers will benefit from free public transport, reducing carbon emissions and promoting accessibility.

Reusable cups and water fountains: Concessions will use reusable cups, supplemented by accessible water fountains for staff and volunteers.

Renewable energy: Solar panels on the roof of the stadium will contribute to energy generation, reducing reliance on non-renewable resources.

Sensory room inauguration: For the first time, a sensory room will be available at the final, enhancing inclusivity for fans with disabilities.

🇬🇷 UEFA Conference League final – Athens

Accessibility: Detailed information on accessibility at the AEK Arena can be found here.

Accessibility improvements: Stadium wheelchair seat capacity has been expanded by 40%, providing more opportunities for fans with disabilities to watch the game.

Waste management: Collaborative efforts with AEK and the Hellenic Football Federation have led to improved waste separation systems and signage within the stadium.

Sustainable concessions: Our partner JET will provide concessions with biodegradable containers, to better recycle food containers.

Fan festival: Check out the full social activities programme of the Athens fan festival!

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 UEFA Champions League final – London

Accessibility: Detailed information on accessibility at Wembley stadium can be found here.

Remote production: The Ultimate Champions Tournament will be aired through a full cloud-based production, minimising carbon emissions associated with traditional broadcasting.

Food waste management pilot: A pilot project aims to optimise food waste management, contributing to a more sustainable hospitality experience.

Carbon labelling: Carbon labels will be added to the menu boards in the concession areas at Wembley Stadium, bringing transparency to fan food choices as part of the UEFA Champions Innovate startup programme set to boost innovation around the final.

Inclusive communication: Giant screens will feature messages presented in British Sign Language, promoting inclusivity for all fans.

Fan festival: Check out the full social activities programme of the London fan festival!

These actions and initiatives serve as additional catalysts towards realising the objectives outlined in our Football Sustainability Strategy 2030, to inspire, activate and accelerate collective action in support of social and environmental sustainability within European football.

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