Products of Change


Tue 14 Nov 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

UEFA updates its Circular Economy Guidelines for apparel, equipment, and event materials

UEFA has released updated Circular Economy Guidelines, aiming to revolutionise football’s consumption model and significantly cut waste in apparel, equipment, and event materials, as well as energy and water usage. The latest edition of the Guidelines builds on those introduced during last year’s Zero Waste Week which focused specifically on moving to a circular model of food and beverage provision in football. The Guidelines aim to assist National Associations, clubs, and stakeholders in the European football community in reducing the sport’s environmental footprint. With just over 9% of materials currently being reused or recycled, UEFA is committed to shifting European football towards a circular model emphasising the 4Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover. Michele Uva, UEFA director social and environmental sustainability, said: “Circular economy football is a new and fascinating concept, and these UEFA guidelines offer a practical approach to embed it in our game. “We have developed the 4R framework as a guiding principle and applied to it football, in collaboration with National Associations, the ECA, clubs, and commercial partners.” In the apparel and equipment section of the guidelines, there is an exploration of product life cycles and the relevant legislation governing their production and consumption, This underscores the pressing need to promote sustainability and reduce waste in this sector. Produced in collaboration with National Associations, member clubs of the European Club Association (ECA), commercial partners (including PepsiCo, adidas, and Macron), subject matter experts, academics, and European institutions, the guidelines showcase an eight-step approach to implementing the 4R framework: selecting accountable individuals, analysing specific contexts, defining missions, setting KPIs, prioritising solutions, creating action plans, monitoring progress, and reporting achievements. The Guidelines will now be widely distributed within the European football community and UEFA will work closely with sustainability officers from National Associations and clubs to ensure best practices are implemented through workshops and monitoring. The guidelines will undergo regular updates to integrate emerging best practices, innovations, and regulatory changes.

Sport Sustainability at SiLC

Sustainability in sport and sport licensing was a major topic of conversation at the Sustainability in Licensing Conference last week, when POC’s Ambassador for Sport, Simon Gresswell hosted a panel made up of Wimbledon’s Daniel Ashmore; Liverpool FC’s Rishi Jain; and Desert Vipers’ Matt Bailey to discuss the progress of sustainable development within sports organisations and associations and the wider implications for the sports merchandise and licensing sector. The discussion explored the many strides being taken by each sports organisation to decarbonise and develop new sustainable means of operating, whether that’s across day to day operations at Liverpool FC or in the power to influence customer and fan behaviours that sports and sports brands have today. This discussion is now available to all Conference attendees to watch back on demand. Those unable to make the Sustainability in Licensing Conference either in-person or online, still have the chance to catch all the action by purchasing an online on-demand ticket here.