Practicum Project | 2024

Assessing the sustainability of a single professional football match through life cycle analysis 

Sports have an innate power to unify communities, drive social inclusion, and unite people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. But they also have immense effects on the environment – professional sports may come close to generating 0.6 percent of global emissions, responsible for as much as 350 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, or about as much as the entire United Kingdom. One of the world’s most successful football clubs, AC Milan, recognizes both its influence on sports entertainment and the sheer magnitude of environmental implications associated with the industry. The San Siro Stadium—AC Milan’s homebase in Milan, Italy—sees an average attendance of 71,600 people across the 24 to 29 matches played by the Men’s First Team each season. The energy and resources consumed, as well as waste generated, for each match raise concerns for the sustainability of large-scale sporting events. 

In collaboration with AC Milan our team plans to use a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to build a holistic view of the impacts of a single football match by analyzing all operations and facilities involved in the event. We will focus on both the environmental impact from the operations of a single football game and the the environmental impact of the infrastructure needed to support these operations. LCA is considered a bottom-up approach that provides the most detailed understanding of each individual stage or unit process going into match day activities. By assessing and clearly outlining which sectors contribute the most to the environmental impacts of an event using methods like LCA, the club can be more informed about hotspots for burdens and undertake directed efforts to mitigate these impacts. Through assessing the current emissions of AC Milan’s stadium events across critical sustainability indicators, we hope to make not only their operations more sustainable, but to offer solutions that can be used across the sports entertainment industry.

Student Team:  Courtney Strydom, Sofija Ninnes, Luke Marshall, Gabriella Stevens, Luke Makshanoff, Yara Sigvaldason, Wilma Wei, and Keedan-Rev Seruelo

Client: AC Milan

Advisor: Viraj Sawant