Mumbai (India)/ Nairobi (Kenya), 11 March 2010 - The launch of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) third season tomorrow night in Mumbai marks a milestone in cricketing history - the IPL is going green.
Tipped to become the single largest environmental awareness campaign in the Indian subcontinent, Batting for the Environment is a partnership between the IPL and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Led by UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar, team captains from the Deccan Chargers to the Kolkata Knight Riders will make a Green Pledge to save the planet at the opening ceremony.
The pledge, which reads: "The Earth is our home and together we must conserve our precious wildlife, forests and oceans. I am proud to pledge that I will play my part in caring for our natural heritage," will be sealed with the players signing a giant globe made of recycled materials in front of an estimated 24 million spectators watching the opening live on television, YouTube or at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
Green tips will flash across giant screens in stadiums and will be announced by commentators daily during the course of the 45-day tournament, advising cricketers and fans on how to play a part in limiting greenhouse gas emissions and caring for the environment.
In addition to increasing environmental awareness among millions of cricket fans and the wider public, the partnership aims to make the IPL a truly green sporting event by identifying ways to reduce the overall impact its operations have on the environment - from waste management to energy efficiency and water.
The IPL will encourage recycling and carpooling, and call on their fans to take an active part in helping to green the league.
All major sports events have an impact on the environment. In addition to the construction and operation of sports facilities, the life cycle of sports equipment, apparel, refreshments and merchandise all have an 'ecological footprint', or impact on the natural environment. So do the competitors, officials and spectators, for example generating damaging greenhouse gas emissions from flying or driving to matches.
Last February, UNEP experts, in cooperation with officials from the IPL and its franchises, launched a study to assess the league's carbon footprint as a first step towards greening the games.
IPL Chairman Lalit Modi said: "The IPL is committed to greening its operation. With the support of UNEP, the IPL's green vision will be implemented in phases. This tournament, we are calculating the carbon emissions of the games to help us determine the extent and measure needed to reduce these emissions and compensate for the remaining emissions, for example by purchasing 100% renewable energy. Our ultimate goal is to declare the 2011 tournament Climate Neutral by offsetting the green house gas emissions of the entire tournament."
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: "UNEP is delighted to be supporting the IPL's Green Vision through technical guidance, not least in respect to minimizing greenhouse gases, given the overarching and global challenge of climate change. UNEP recognizes that the consumption and production patterns of the rapidly developing economies of India may define the future of this planet. We need to make the right choices in terms of how best to manage energy and natural resources. To borrow a cricketing metaphor, these choices will define whether the world is running or soon will be run out. Public awareness will be central to defining a new development path - a path UNEP has termed the low carbon, resource efficient, Green Economy. "
He added: "We thank the IPL for embracing the opportunity to 'go green' and for the league's willingness to lend its popularity and the considerable influence of its players to catalyze environmental awareness and positive behaviour change among millions of fans in India and around the world."
By greening its operations, the IPL is set to become one of the most environmentally-friendly major sports events, joining the ranks of global events like the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games which also work with UNEP to green their events.
Note to Editors:
UNEP-IPL Batting for the Environment Partnership
For more information, visit the official site http://www.unep.org/sport_env/ipl.asp
UNEP was established in 1972 and is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. It provides leadership in caring for the environment by inspiring nations and communities to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP has been working in the area of sport and the environment for more than 15 years.
The Indian Premier League (IPL), is a mega-popular Twenty20 cricket competition created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and chaired by the Chairman & Commissioner IPL, BCCI Vice President Lalit Modi. Snap polls indicate that more than 24 million people watched the telecast of the IPL 2008 finals (Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings),more than 20 million people saw the Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils match, whereas the second semi-final between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab attracted an audience of 19 million. For more information on the IPL, visit http://www.iplt20.com
Compilation of UNEP- IPL Tip of the Day
Join the interactive discussion on greening the IPL
For more information, please contact:
In Mumbai, UNEP Director of Communications, Satinder Bindra, +254 727 531 253, firstname.lastname@example.org
In London, UNEP Spokesperson, Nick Nuttall, +41 795 965 737 or +254 733 632 755, email@example.com
In Nairobi, UNEP NewsDesk Head, Shereen Zorba, +254 713 601 259, firstname.lastname@example.org
IPL Media Manager, Matthew Slade, +91 9820 221 792, email@example.com
Adfactors PR, Percy Dubash, _91 9820 221 792, firstname.lastname@example.org