By Matthew Campelli, The Sustainability Report
Fans of TSG Hoffenheim can plant trees in Uganda’s Kikonda Forest by paying a small premium on top of normal ticket prices during the first half of the season
Fans of German Bundesliga football club TSG Hoffenheim will be given the opportunity to participate in the cultivation and protection of Ugandan woodland by paying a small premium on top of their ticket price.
The ‘climate ticket’ will be on offer for all home games during the first part of the season, with all proceeds going towards a tree planting project in the East African nation’s Kikonda Forest.
Since 2002, eight million trees have been planted in the forest thanks to Global Woods International, creating 600 jobs, absorbing CO2 and supporting biodiversity.
The climate ticket initiative forms part of the club’s wider plans to become carbon neutral during the 2019/20 season.
To do so, TSG Hoffenheim will offset around 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions before the end of the season. Once the season finishes, the club will make a precise calculation of its carbon footprint and adjust accordingly.
The SAP-owned team will also take on responsibility for all its opponents by offsetting the travel of the visiting club and the referees. During the coin toss at the start of each home match, the away captain will receive a special certificate regarding the carbon offset. The referee team will find their certificate in their dressing room.
All offsetting projects receiving investment will be WWF Gold Standard programmes.
“In addition to the need to reduce our own CO2 emissions and balance our carbon footprint, in choosing to go carbon neutral we also hope to educate both our fans and the general public, as well as draw attention to this issue which is of critical importance for all levels of society,” said TSG Hoffenheim co-managing director, Dr Peter Görlich.
Frank Briel, the club’s other co-managing director, added: “I believe we can be proud of the fact that we are setting an example for both the Bundesliga and German football as a whole when it comes to climate protection. Making all our activities climate-neutral is a continuation of the steps we took years ago to equip all of our facilities, including the stadium, with a state-of-the-art environmental protection technology in order to conserve resources and operate in an environmentally-conscious manner.”
TSG Hoffenheim is currently the only sports club participating in the Alliance for Development and Climate Change, an initiative launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.