Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today launched an initiative designed to reduce the organisation’s climate impact and inspire positive climate action within Australian football. 

‘Our Greener Pitch’ aims to encourage players, clubs and the football community to take individual and collective action to mitigate the effects of climate change. The cornerstone of the policy is a commitment to reducing and offsetting the organisation’s carbon emissions. 

‘Our Greener Pitch’ follows the PFA’s carbon audit in 2019 conducted by Australia’s Carbon Reduction Institute (CRI), which measured the PFA’s annual carbon emissions. PFA members subsequently selected a large-scale solar project based in Mauritius, Africa, to offset the organisation’s emissions. 

Consequently, the PFA has become the first Australian sporting organisation to achieve carbon neutral status. 

The ‘Our Greener Pitch’ initiative will see the PFA commit to: 

  • Annual auditing of the business’ emissions; 
  • Offsetting the organisation’s unavoidable emissions through the purchase of units in approved projects under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS); 
  • Embedding sustainability as a key component of all decision-making, including the reduction of air travel, waste reduction and alignment with companies with similar goals; and 
  • The design and delivery of educational resources for PFA members on climate change and individual actions that can reduce impact. 

PFA Co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill said: 

“Throughout the PFA’s history, we have always explored ways in which  we can not only support and represent our players and build the sport in Australia, but also harness the responsibility as an organisation to make our community – and the world – a better place. 
“Given the increasing individual and collective responsibility we have as global citizens to ensure our environment and Earth is protected, the PFA have conducted an inaugural carbon audit  to measure and then offset our impact.  

“We’re aware this is a global issue that requires national and global action, but equally recognise our responsibility to reduce our impact.” 

The PFA invited all PFA members and PFA Past Players to vote on one of the three  global projects – wind in China, biomass in India and solar in Mauritius – to offset carbon emissions through renewable energy.  

The selected project, La Ferme – Bambous Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant, consists of the construction and operation of a greenfield 15.2 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Eau Bonne, Bambous, Mauritius. 

“It was important to engage our members on where our emissions would be offset,” Gill said. “Climate change is a global issue and football is a global sport, so the decision to assist existing large-scale projects was supported by the players and encouraged through our work with CRI.” 

Matildas and Sevilla midfielder Aivi Luik said: 

“As both a footballer and someone who is passionate about the environment, I’m really excited to have the opportunity to advocate for reaching carbon neutrality within the football community.  

“Just as the game of football itself can’t be won with one single person, neither can the fight against climate change which is why it’s so important that we all step up and follow the lead of the PFA by reducing or offsetting our carbon emissions to ensure the longevity of the beautiful game and our planet.  

“With a clear game plan and joint ambition we can help create a much brighter future for all. We just need to start today.” 

Socceroos and Hibernian midfielder Jackson Irvine said: 

“Through ‘Our Greener Pitch’ the players are demonstrating that even taking small steps can help make a big impact.”

About the Carbon Offset Project 

La Ferme – Bambous Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant consists of the construction and operation of a greenfield 15.2 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Eau Bonne, Bambous, Mauritius.  

Solar energy plays a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as the emission of harmful air pollutants such as sulphur and nitrous oxides. The project assists in promoting renewable energy use for a cleaner future while diversifying Mauritius’s current energy mix. Each solar panel consists of many photovoltaic cells containing silicon and conductors which convert photons from sunlight into direct current electricity.  

For more information, click here