CIRCA5000 | Sustainability at Wimbledon

Sustainability at Wimbledon

By CIRCA5000 TeamBack to Mission Control

For two weeks each year, Wimbledon grips the nation. With around 500,000 attendees and millions more viewers worldwide, it’s hardly surprising that it takes a lot of energy and resources to make it happen. 

Sustainability has been a hot topic for organisers since 2019. That year, they outlined specific goals they wanted to achieve.

The measures they put in place since then are ambitious – and many of them rely on innovations aligned with the ones being made by the companies in CIRCA5000 portfolios. 

In the same way that Wimbledon organisers are priortising renewable energy and cutting edge solutions to food provision, our Clean Energy and Sustainable Future of Food themes put innovative energy and food solutions front and centre. But what makes Wimbledon 2022 so special?

Solar-powered strawberries

Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be Wimbledon without strawberries and cream. Indeed, a whopping 191,930 portions of strawberries are served at the tournament each year. 2022 is a little different, though. Not only have the Wimbledon team sourced the berries from a local Kent farm, they’ve also grown them in a solar-powered greenhouse. 

“This year, Hugh Lowe Farms, strawberry suppliers to the tournament, have attached panels to the sides of Kent glasshouses as part of a trial to see if they can increase solar powered fruit supplies without using more land.

Since 2021, the trial has received £250,000 in government funding and has become even more significant since domestic energy supplies have been in the spotlight following the Ukraine war.” 

Clean energy

“Wimbledon has used 100% renewable electricity since 2019. And in 2022, rooftop solar panels were added to the venue for the first time.”

Although the hosts of Wimbledon, The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC), still use natural gas, emissions have been decreasing over the past few years, with plans to totally phase out usage by 2030. This transition comes at a time when global energy sources are in the spotlight in the wake of unrest.  

As prices for gas and electricity seem to climb ever upward, clean energy has started to move from the fringes to the mainstream. This growing demand for sustainable energy means that companies in CIRCA5000’s Global Clean Energy portfolio stand to gain. Companies included among the top-10 holdings like Vestas Wind Systems, Sunrun and Plug Power allow people to invest in a diversified range of clean energy solutions like wind power as well as solar and hydrogen energy. 

Vehicles

Every year, players, organisers and fans travel from across the world to attend Wimbledon. And this accounts for a large proportion of their CO2 emissions. 

“The AELTC reports that flights taken to and from Wimbledon generated 1,595 tonnes of CO2 in 2020-21, representing 21% of its total emissions. Road fuel used for official championship transportation generated a further 166 tonnes of CO2. Emissions levels for fan travel aren’t included.”

To combat this, the AELTC has offset the entire CO2 footprint for the year, and will continue to do so in future. They are also taking measures to reduce the number of flights taken.

Wimbledon also operates fully electric Jaguar iPace vehicles, and aims to have a fully electric fleet by 2030. 

Food and drink

“Wimbledon is the largest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe.” 

Food and drink are central to the Wimbledon experience for fans, and one of the most visible ways Wimbledon can make sustainable changes. And for a long time, tournament organisers relied on single-use plastic, which is a very easy and convenient option for large-scale events. But this year they are serving food in reusable and plastic-free containers. This will help shift the sustainability burden from the individuals attending the tournament to the organisers themselves. This shift is a key move in the fight to save the planet. 

This shift in mindset is central to companies such as Graphic Packaging, which you’ll find in the CIRCA5000 Sustainable Future of Food fund. While they’re not associated with Wimbledon, and aren’t working with them, Graphic Packaging are a leading supplier of paper-based packaging solutions that make sure that any investments customers make with us lead to less plastic and more recycling every single day. 

Sources:

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