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Our Team Captain Emilie Bølviken was a panelist at UEFA’s circular economy guidelines launch. Emilie’s participation brought a player’s perspective to the conversation around circularity within European football and how this can set the standard for the rest of the global football ecosystem.
This event was held at the UEFA HQ in Nyon, Switzerland, and commemorated the guidelines that UEFA will send to football stakeholders (national associations, leagues, clubs, sponsors, event organizers, and others) to reach their ambition of zero plastic and food waste across all European football by 2030. Other phases of the circularity guidelines include football garments and shoes, resources and energy, and event materials.
Joining Emilie in the panel were Michele Uva, UEFA’s director of football & social responsibility, Charlie Marshall, CEO of the European Club Association, Katharina Stenholm, senior vice-president & chief sustainability officer of PepsiCo Europe, Emmanuelle Maire, head of the circular economy unit directorate-general for the environment for the European Commission, Anders Kjaer, FSR manager for the Danish Football Association, Ricardo Carvalho, sports facilities & asset manager for FC Porto, and Vincent Reulet, FSR environment expert for UEFA.
The purpose of the panel was to discuss the roles each stakeholder, sponsor, venue, club, and player has in implementing and enforcing circularity. Though most panelists touched on the practical solutions to implementing this, it was unanimous that European Football can be the messenger and be an example to the rest of the global football ecosystem.
Emilie’s player perspective highlighted the inherent reach and influence players have on and off the pitch within their local communities.
“To turn things around, us players have a role to play in bringing our communities together and creating a strong message for the green shift”, says Emilie.
Our WPG Green bag was introduced as a practical solution to tackling football garment circularity, but also as a campaign platform that supports a sustainable and circular mindset. If UEFA’s circular guidelines and the latest science have demonstrated anything, it’s that we all must Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover.
Therefore, it was made quite clear throughout the discussion between stakeholders, sponsors, clubs, governments, and institutions, everyone has a role to play. This was summed up nicely by Emilie,
“Football has a unique way of connecting people. No matter where you’re at, start to use your voice and you can create a green chain reaction with those around you. No one is perfect, but that should not prevent us from starting”.