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Manchester United offset carbon emissions ahead of pre-season tour

The extravagance of Premier League football teams’ pre-season tours has been criticised in the past, with an example much cited referencing a match between Liverpool and Manchester United in Bangkok which was responsible for emitting 7,000 times more CO2 than if it had been played in the UK (and that doesn’t include the travelling fans).

This season, ahead of a series of friendly games in the US, Manchester United have announced they have offset 450 tonnes of CO2 emissions to cover the necessary air travel by players and staff.

red and white building during daytime

Working with Carbon Neutral, a service provided by Climate Impact Partners, United have bought carbon offsets which will be used at The Crow Lake Wind project in South Dakota. The site hosts 108 turbines which supply renewable energy to 129,000 homes – offsetting approximately 432,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

On top of this, the club are retrospectively covering carbon emissions from last season, including their pre-season training camp and the European flights made during their Europa Cup campaign. In this process they will be compensating 205 tonnes of CO2 by planting 1,250 trees through a collaboration withTrees4Travel, where every tree is also backed up with United Nations CER renewable energy project carbon credits.

The club has achieved 15 consecutive years of carbon emissions reductions and was the first UK sports organisation to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard certification for commitment to carbon reduction.

Chief Operating Officer Collette Roche said: ‘We are delighted to be back in the United States for the first time in five years. As well as being an opportunity to visit our hugely passionate fan base, our pre-season tour is also an important source of preparation for the club.

‘However, we recognise the responsibility we have in mitigating the environmental impact of our travel and that is why we have invested in renewable energy to compensate for the carbon emissions generated across all travel last season and the U.S. tour.

‘We are constantly looking to reduce our carbon footprint and at more sustainable travel options during the domestic season, and while we accept offsetting has limitations, we want to take all the positive action we can.’

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