VfL Wolfsburg’s Commitment to Environmental Protection

25 August 2023

VfL Wolfsburg’s Commitment to Environmental Protection

VfL Wolfsburg is the first German football club to join the “Sports for Nature” initiative.

VfL Wolfsburg is already at the forefront of efforts to preserve the blue planet. Especially when it comes to climate protection, the Green-Whites play a pioneering role in professional football, as their participation in the “Race To Zero” underlines. VfL is now expanding its much-noted commitment to people and the environment even further: The Lower Saxons will be the first German football club to join the “Sports for Nature” initiative, a global alliance from the world of sport that has set itself the goal of joining forces for high-profile environmental protection.

“Fair Play Also in Relation to Our Nature”

“Joining the ‘Sports for Nature’ initiative underlines our ambitions in climate and environmental protection. We want to consistently live fair play not only on the pitch but also in relation to our nature.”

Nico Briskorn, Head of CSR at VfL Wolfsburg

“Sports for Nature” was launched at the end of 2022 with the participation of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and around 30 clubs, associations and organisations. In addition to the IOC, the members include various world federations from sports such as table tennis, canoeing, rugby and water-skiing, but also national representatives such as the Hungarian Swimming Association or the English Squash Association.

Concrete Ideas for Implementation

All members have agreed on the intention to initiate measurably positive developments in their areas by 2030 and beyond. The four basic principles are:

  • To protect the environment and prevent damage to natural habitats and species
  • To restore and regenerate nature
  • To understand and reduce risks to nature in their supply chains
  • To use sport as a role model to educate and inspire positive action

Ideas on how the Green-Whites can get involved are already underway in-house.

“Together with biodiversity researchers, we have already prepared a study on the topic of football and biodiversity in 2021, which is unique in the league and as a result of which a concrete action plan was developed. The measures that have been taken, such as innovative microplastic filters for artificial turf pitches, will also be made visible to other sports organisations in the future as part of the ‘Sports for Nature’ initiative, and hopefully we can learn from the experiences of other participants in return.”

Nico Briskorn, Head of CSR at VfL Wolfsburg

“Hope Others Will Follow VfL’s Example”

In order to be as effective as possible in global and cross-sporting cooperation, the alliance has committed itself to the idea of teamwork. “Sports for Nature” therefore expressly sees itself as a complement to existing initiatives such as the UN climate protection agreement “Sports For Climate Action”, on the basis of which VfL supports “Race To Zero”.

“We are very pleased that VfL Wolfsburg has joined ‘Sports for Nature’. Its commitment to biodiversity protection and sustainable action are highly commendable and will certainly inspire other clubs to take action in favour of nature. We hope that others will follow VfL Wolfsburg’s example and join the initiative so that the global importance of sport can bring about positive change for our planet.”

Stewart Maginnis, Deputy Director General of IUCN.

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