UEFA and EURO 2016 SAS's "civic responsibility at all organisational levels" is emphasised in the UEFA EURO 2016 Social Responsibility and Sustainability Post-Event Report.
The strategy developed by UEFA and EURO 2016 SAS had clear priorities: to provide total access for disabled fans, a tobacco-free tournament, anti-discrimination match monitoring and consideration for the environment.
EURO 2016 SAS had signed up to the UN Global Compact initiative, and that sustainability ethos covered transport and mobility, waste management, optimisation of energy and water consumption, and responsible sourcing.
As EURO 2016 SAS president Jacques Lambert said before the tournament: "All organisers of any sort of event have that responsibility [economic, social and environmental], whether it's on a world scale or simply at local or regional level. In a sense, that's what sustainable development means – taking into account civic responsibility at all organisational levels."
This was no small task given the record numbers: 24 teams, 51 matches, ten host cities and 2.5 million spectators in the stadiums.
Some of the key performance indicators:
- Access for all: 17,000 disabled fan tickets made available
- Tobacco-free: all ten stadiums declared non-smoking
- Diversity: just eight incidents of racism/discrimination reported, two punished
- Fan culture: 19 fan embassies
- Public transport: 300,000 additional seats to travel to stadiums, offsetting of 35,000 tonnes of CO2
- Waste: recycling rate of 38%; ten tonnes of food donated to NGOs
- Energy: 30,000 litres of fuel saved; renewable energy purchased by three stadiums
- Sourcing of products and services: 71% of items produced in Europe; 2.5 million tickets printed on FSC-certified paper
For compliance purposes, multiple audits were carried out during the live events, as part as the ISO 20121 certification.
UEFA is committed to building upon the UEFA EURO 2016 experience for UEFA EURO 2020 and other events. For the next EURO, the challenges will be on a larger scale as the event will take place in 13 host countries.
Martin Kallen, UEFA Events SA CEO, said: "Work is already under way with a view to making our future events even more socially responsible and sustainable, and it will take the energies of every stakeholder in the football family to achieve this goal."