Honestly, what’s your best memory thinking of Spanish traditional club Real Betis Sevilla? The club is certainly not too well known outside of Spain; the most recent footage you probably have seen was Leo Messi’s wonder goal against them a few days back. Apart from their decent performances in La Liga and at least the Europa League group stage, the club have already proved their innovative approach concerning off-field matters. Now, Real Betis have committed to becoming climate neutral. Which would make them the first club in Spain to be just that and one of the first few clubs to take sustainability to another level.
Emulating the Forest Green Rovers status
When it comes to climate neutrality, sports and football do have a long way to go. Yet, there are clubs that already operate on an officially climate neutral level. And La Liga’s Real Betis Sevilla, also known as Real Betis Balompié, aim to become one of them. So far, the English fourth tier club Forest Green Rovers are a prime example for sustainable operating. They have 100 per cent green energy, are fully vegan, use electro mobility and are the first club to ever become climate neutral according to none less than the UN.
As of the beginning of March, Real Betis have officially joined the
Climate Neutral Now initiative of UN Climate Change. By doing that, they commit themselves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to compensate the rest. Furthermore, the club will become a platform to raise awareness for the need for a change in climate politics and policies. Real Betis’ millions of fans across the globe should therefore be amongst the first to acknowledge the club’s quest for a better world – and that alone should stand the Béticos in good stead, especially in relation to social attention.
Real Betis will become Spain’s first top tier club to become climate neutral and emulate the achievement of Forest Green Rovers, a team that by coincidence or not, also sport green shirts. On Betis’ home kits we find Green Earth from Avalon Life as the main sponsor as well, a project to commercialise endangered areas in Central America via blockchain, in order to keep them from further burdening the environment.
Ángel Haro, president of the club, said about the coming projects for Real Betis:
Since the beginning, Real Betis Balompié has been about its family, its members and fans. We strive to ensure that they feel Betis represents them and supports them, just as much as they support us. Taking action on climate is also about them, it’s about our family. We understand that climate change is a threat to the livelihoods and the wellbeing of everyone on the planet, and we are doing our part.
And the Global Climate Action at the UN appreciate the committment a lot, as their manager Niclas Svenningsen emphasised:
We are encouraged to see Real Betis align its business with the climate agenda. We are inspired by their focus on serving their community, engaging their fans, and working together with others in a respectful, responsible manner. We are happy to have them as one of the signatories of our Climate Neutral Now initiative
What else are Real Betis doing to become somewhat of a world-class club?
Climate change is an important matter, but how can a football club oblige this aim? First of all, Real Betis will provide renewable energy for its new sports city, plus advanced waste collection and treatment systems. Additionally, a lot of further trees shall breathe more life into the environment. Smart illumination systems will be installed in the stadium
Benito Villamarín and single-use plastic shall be drastically reduced.
These measures to become climate neutral are an important step for Real Betis on the way to becoming a widely acclaimed club. While things might not have gone the way the fans would have wanted in the Europa League, where Stade Rennes was responsible for their downfall, they’re still fighting to get back to European football next season. And to stay present in Europe is important for the club as a brand. As their sustainable approach will see them getting repect, other aspects have to be considered in order to generate financial revenue at the same time. Thankfully, Real Betis are also frontrunners in the realms of e-commerce, since they’re one of several clubs that own a customised club shop on Amazon.
So, after all, the internationalisation strategies of Real Betis put them in a bracket with pioneers in their very aspects of climate neutrality or lucrative e-commerce solutions. Their Social Media accounts could use a push, though, but the attention from their newest and laudable scheme will probably help there, too. Let’s see whether Joaquín, Sergio Canales, Marc Bartra and Co. can achieve big things on the pitch in the near future. Their club has certainly made sure that there will be an awareness for even more urgent matters on this world than football, believe it or not: the future of our planet.
Any club should aim to at least optimise their management of single-plastic use and have the goal to become climate neutral. Real Betis and the Forest Green Rovers are great examples and even the best clubs in the world can learn from them. Whoever is interested, may also have a look at the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative.