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Storyboard18 x Just Sports | Addressing sustainability in sports: Emergence of smart stadiums

Storyboard18 x Just Sports | Addressing sustainability in sports: Emergence of smart stadiums

Storyboard18 x Just Sports | Addressing sustainability in sports: Emergence of smart stadiums
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By Storyboard18  May 19, 2022 7:07:25 PM IST (Updated)

A single cricket match releases about 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The task at hand is to create awareness about the environment cost of sports events and find solutions.

Sports appeals to us at multiple levels. It's an adrenaline gusher, the ultimate family entertainer, and inspiration for fitness, clothing etc. A complete package! Yet, if we take a moment to understand at what cost these emotional sensibilities come to us at. The invisible cost of our future home, our planet, and a thriving next generation.

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Did you know, that every time we watch a match in a stadium, carbon dioxide is emitted from travel, goods transportation, powerful lights brightening up the stadiums, plastics used, and more. While watching our favourite game at home as well, we are not immune to the emissions. In every related situation, the use of power releases carbon dioxide referred to as carbon emissions. Simplistically put increased carbon emissions mean an increased negative impact on global warming
Not too many people understand this connection. For creating awareness and urgency the story needs to be told in a way that is well understood and relatable. The tale of global warming being an environmental truth, and sports being the protagonist.
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What better way to narrate the story than with a demonstration of how the protagonist, in this case, Cricket, can be a potential contributor to arresting climate change. Let's start with understanding what's behind the fabulous experience one gets at the stadiums. A sustainability assessment of these stadiums is a great starting point.
In our recent association with the IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, we wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to play carbon-neutral cricket matches. So we first engaged with experts - C Balance and Nangia Andersen LLP to understand the carbon footprint of an average IPL cricket match. And the results were astonishing - a single cricket match releases about 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). Now, the task at hand is to create awareness about this.
Rajasthan Royals pledged to become Green Yodha’s (a sustainability initiative of Schneider Electric) and played this IPL season’s first carbon-neutral match on May 11.
Towards making the game carbon-neutral Schneider Electric has committed to offsetting the emissions by planting 17,000 trees, through multiple agencies, successfully demonstrating to the world that enjoyment of a match, both at home as well as at a stadium, can happen without disrupting the environment.
Taking the Green Yodha pledge forward the team players, through explainer videos, communicated to a common man what 10,000 tonnes of CO2 mean. The campaign deployed the popular digital and traditional vehicles to ensure the message travels far and wide. While these messages from cricketers made waves with the discerning millennial minds, businesses took notice of the unseen climate impact of our actions.
We understand that with energy costs skyrocketing and environmental footprints rising steeply, it is essential for these sports grounds to reduce their costs and carbon footprint. This dream can be realised through digital transformation, asset management remote monitoring, predictive maintenance and energy efficiency.
Stadiums adopting the technologies to keep them at the forefront of being environment friendly are called Smart Stadiums. They attract fans with their proposition of saving the environment while entertaining us. While this is the start of our efforts in cricket, we have provided digital solutions to Melbourne Cricket Ground for optimising carbon emissions through energy-related assets.
As a sustainability enthusiast, I am hopeful that the sports fraternity, at large, will see this as an exemplary model ready to be replicated and assume responsibility for a better planet.
Let me leave you with some fodder for thought - If one 20-over cricket match emits 10,000 tonnes of CO2, which is equal to the CO2 emission of 20 lakh homes in a single day. I will let you imagine the impact of sports on climate change.
It is our responsibility to hand over a better planet to the next generation. Unlike cricket, our planet has only one inning.
The author Bidisha Nagaraj is the chief marketing officer of Schneider Electric India. Views expressed are personal.
Note to readers: Storyboard18’s new Month In Focus initiative spotlights themes and topics that are pushing marketers to reshape and rethink how brands interact with today’s customers. Our first theme is Just Sports, a special spotlight on sports marketing presented by Sports18. We bring to you stories of how marketers are harnessing the power of technology, innovation and creativity in sports to create powerful storytelling in campaigns that increase affinity and loyalty with audiences. From traditional sports platforms around cricket to emerging games and the rise of esports, we get leading voices from the marketing and sports worlds to give us sharp and fast insights into future-facing marketing practices. Also, tune in for analyses which will surface ideas and strategies that are helping brands to level up experiences and storytelling with authentic collaborations. So watch this space for Just Sports.
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