UNEP and the IPL: The Diary of a Partnership

  • 24 November 2009 Initial Meeting

    Cricket is massively popular in India and across much of the world. Recognizing the potential of the game to reach an audience of millions, UNEP met the Punjab Cricket Association on 24 November 2009 and expressed its interest in working with cricket bodies to spread environmental messages. Cricket also has an impact on the environment. Matches generate large volumes of waste, consume huge amounts of energy and water, and fans travel to watch matches using private or public transport with some flying great distances. The opportunity to address environmental footprint and promote environmental messages to fans across the world made working with Indian cricket authorities an attractive addition to UNEP’s sport and environment activities.
  • 12 – 14 December 2009 UNEP visit to Mohali

    UNEP held further meetings with the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) in the city of Mohali in North West India to discuss ways of improving the environmental performance of the Mohali stadium. The discussions led to the announcement of a number of greening initiatives by the PCA including a commitment to organizing a climate neutral cricket match during the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL) season and the installation of solar panels (photovoltaic plant) on the roof of the Mohali Stadium.
  • 22 January 2010 Signing of MoU between UNEP and the IPL

    After months of informal discussions with the IPL, an MoU was signed by IPL Commissioner, Lalit Modi, and UNEP Director of Communications, Satinder Bindra, on 22 January in a high profile media event in Mumbai, India.

    The MoU highlighted several areas of cooperation:
    UNEP would work with the IPL in the greening the tournament. During the 2010 season an in-depth analysis of the IPL cricket matches and stadia will take place. Based on the findings, a comprehensive environmental programme will be proposed to the IPL.

    Click here to download the MoU
  • 16 – 18 February 2010 Workshop with IPL franchises, suppliers, contractors and sponsors

    The IPL and UNEP organized a workshop for all franchises, suppliers, contractors and IPL partners to brief them on the greening of the IPL and to suggest ways they could contribute. Proposed measures included:
    Franchises to explore ways of promoting environmental issues among fans by, for example, encouraging them to use public transport to get to matches;
    Franchises to discuss with stadium owners energy efficiency, improved water and waste management and other environmentally friendly innovations in the stadiums;
    Franchises to discuss better environmental installations with owners planning new stadium construction.
    Franchises to discuss better environmental installations with owners planning new stadium construction.
  • 26 February – 5 March Develop tips of the day and compile environmental videos for use in IPL matches

    UNEP developed 50 environment-related tips which were read out by television match commentators and also displayed on digital screens in every stadium
    • Take public transport, walk or car pool. Fewer cars = cleaner air.
    • Protect India’s forests – they’re crucial tiger territory.
    • Dropping a catch might lose the match. Dropping litter means pollution.
  • 11 March 2010 IPL opening gala

    At the glittering gala dinner which marked the official opening of the 2010 IPL season, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was appointed UNEP Goodwill Ambassador by UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner. The appointment gives one of the world's greatest cricketers the opportunity to use his legendary popularity to raise public awareness and harness support for environmental action in India and around the world. At a meeting with Achim Steiner, IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi committed to offset the emissions of four matches of the 2010 IPL season and the entire emissions of the 2011 IPL season. He also restated his commitment to working with UNEP on other IPL greening initiatives.
  • 12 March 2010 Opening ceremony of the IPL

    The opening ceremony saw all eight IPL team captains sign an environmental pledge, which read:
    "The Earth is our home and together we must conserve our precious wildlife, forests and oceans. I am proud to pledge that I will play my part in caring for our natural heritage."

    The match commentator then read out the first environmental Tip of the Day:
    "Plant a tree. On average a tree exhales enough oxygen for a family of four! "

    Fans were been encouraged to submit their own environmental tips and the best each week was read out at the start of the match on Friday.
  • 13 March 2010 Inspection of Mohali stadium

    UNEP and no2co2 visited Mohali to inspect facilities and review emissions statistics to support the PCA’s stated intention of offsetting one of the matches in Mohali. Among the simple measures proposed were:
    • Installing waste bins in the stadium and surrounding area, using a two bin system to separate recyclable (paper, plastic etc.) and residual waste
    • Adjusting air conditioning in the stadium to a temperature of between 23 and 25 degree as it was thought to be too low.
    • Controlling cool air leakage by closing windows and doors.
  • 9 April 2010 First-Ever Climate Neutral Cricket Match

    The first ever climate neutral cricket match took place in Mohali on 9 April. An estimated 580 tonnes of emissions generated through various processes including energy use in the stadium, air travel by teams and officials and local transport by fans were compensated by the PCA by a contribution of US£6133.73 ($10,150) to an internationally recognized renewable energy project in Rajasthan, India. This renewable energy project involves the implementation of a biomass-based power generation plant primarily using mustard crop residue as fuel. The project helps reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation and contributes to sustainable development by, amongst other things, creating employment opportunities and increasing farmers’ income.
    UNEP and the PCA told the media about the climate neutral match at a press conference in Chandigarh with Kumar Sangakkara, captain of local IPL franchise Kings II. press release

    UNEP also used the Mohali event to review the greening activities of the IPL’s hospitality partner, Carving Dreams, and of the Royal Challengers of Bangalore franchise.

    One of the main suppliers to the IPL, Carving Dreams has stopped using bubble raps, reduced the use of plastic in general and increased the use of both reusable materials and public transport for short distances to work for IPL.

    The Royal Challengers of Bangalore are implementing a waste separation programme, encouraging fans to use public transport, to blog about their greening efforts and reducing the amount of fireworks used during the matches. read the blog