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Thibaud Petit

Dec. 15, 2022

sports club

sustainability

Royal Léopold Club - Tapio: when the love of sports and climate actions are the perfect match



The collaboration between the Royal Léopold Club (aka The Léo or RLC) and Tapio proves that love of sports and climate dynamic can be combined perfectly. If you are a sports club and wondering how to reduce your carbon footprint, this article is made for you. Thanks to Tapio, the club now understands its main emission sources. This will enable its committee to better structure the communication on its action and eventually onboard all the members and stakeholders more efficiently in its adventure towards climate transition.

 

 

 

In a nutshell

  • Industry: Sports club (hockey, tennis, squash, padel)
  • Number of projects: Carbon report done with Tapio in 2021 (first carbon report with CO2Logic in 2017) 
  • Location: Brussels
  • Carbon Footprint: 1356 tons of CO2e
  • 3000 members, 51 FTE

 

 

 

Starting point

 

Four years ago, the Royal Léopold Club launched Project21, today known as Leo26. For RLC’s committee, combining sport’s love with a dynamic about climate is essential. As one of the largest sports clubs in the Brussels region (5 hectares and over 3,000 members), the RLC is well aware of the significant impact it could generate among current and younger generations to raise awareness about climate change. 

 

The objectives are double: (1) Reinforcing the club’s position as a privileged place where families, members and friends meet for their greatest pleasure around sports; (2) Making the club a reference for sport and leisure clubs in terms of environment and sustainability and anchoring in the world of eco-responsibility. 

 

Many steps have already been undertaken. The multiplication of awareness campaigns among stakeholders and members, the installation of solar panels, or the organisation of second-hand sales are few examples attesting of the club’s willingness to initiate change on its level. The recognition  of the RLC as an Eco-Dynamic Organisation by being the first Brussels club receiving its 1st Star from Brussels Environmentdemonstrates the club's commitment to its sustainability ambitions.

 

However, the big challenge ahead remains how to communicate efficiently on the essential actions to put in place in order to raise awareness among all the members about the importance of its environmental ambitions. To tackle this challenge, a collaboration with Tapio was for the Royal Léopold Club a natural way to go.

 

 

Results Analysis

 

Thanks to its expertise, Tapio managed to give the club an overview of its carbon footprint. To do so, the climate tech scale-up focused on the operational boundary, hence all activities essential to the club’s good functioning. The club contributed to facilitating Tapio’s work. For example, it sent a questionnaire to all the members that enabled Tapio to determine emissions associated with member’s travel to the club and travel to other clubs for sport events or games. Emissions linked to the heating and electricity required for all the infrastructures (fields, bubbles, the restaurant…) as the logistics covering i.a. all products and services purchased for the running of the club, the maintenance or sports equipment like textiles for players, have also been considered.

 

As indicated in the graph above, mobility is RLC’s first main emission source and accounts for 58,5%. More specifically, just under half of RLC’s total emissions is associated with members' combustion car journeys from and to the club. The next two main emission sources are energy consumption (19,3%) covering the electricity and the heating needed for all the facilities (i.a. club house, restaurant, courts, gyms), and eventually capital assets (13,5%). 

 

 

 

In terms of scopes, we see that the majority of RLC’s emissions fall under Scope 3 that covers indirect emissions, followed by Scope 2 covering emissions linked to the production of energy, electricity and heating. In terms of scope, the Royal Léopold Club is directly responsible for their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Scope 3 covers emission sources related to the RLC’s activities, but whose emissions do not occur within the organisational perimeter, are included in Scope 3. You can learn more about the different scopes and the emissions they cover by reading  our article.

 

 

 

 

Solutions

 

Being aware of its main emission sources, the RLC is more motivated than ever to find solutions. The use of reusable plastic glasses with a deposit instead of disposable plastic ones, the installation of separate waste bins throughout the clubhouse and solar panels, or the banning of air travel are a few of them. 

 

But as discussed before, most of RLC’s emissions falling in Scope 3 are linked with members’ mobility. In other words, the club’s ability to successfully reduce its carbon footprint depends on the society and members’ mentality changes. Let’s take a look at the reduction targets established for 2023, 2025, and 2030 to reduce mobility and energy consumption-related emissions.

 

 

Mobility 

 

To drastically reduce its mobility emissions by 2023, the RLC aims at achieving a reduction of member’s combustion vehicles to and from the club of 10%. This figure is expected to reach 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. To achieve these targets, the RLC’s committee plans to encourage further soft mobility by particularly emphasising on carpooling for car users. The banning of access to the club and the installation of a motorbike parking area in the “green space” of the car park, and the expansion of the bicycle parking area are also key-solutions to concretise these ambitions.

 

In parallel, the club also strives to increase the use of electric cars and recourse to soft mobility by 5%, which is also expected to increase up to 15% by 2025 and to 25% by 2030. And this without necessarily aiming for a 100% electric company’s vehicle fleet. Eventually, avoiding plane travel also belongs to 2030 objectives.

 

 

Energy and heating consumption 

 

As previously mentioned, energy and heating consumption are the second main RLC’s emission sources. Just like mobility, the club has several solutions on the table. The reduction of the temperature in the club's infrastructures (clubhouses, changing rooms, indoor tennis courts, …), the installation of LED lights, the replacement of conventional switches or twilight switch with motion detectors or timers where appropriate, or the installation of light switches on all tennis, padel, and hockey courts. This also includes encouraging players to make more use of the four energy-efficient tennis courts or grouping bookings.

 

Regarding the heating consumption for 2023, the RLC hopes to reach a 20% reduction by reducing the average temperature within the infrastructure by 2°C. The club also hopes to have completed the insulation of the Club House & Squash by 2025, which should enable it to reduce its energy consumption by 50% and concretise its ambitions to use 100% green electricity. 

 

Eventually, for 2030, the RLC wants to reduce its electricity consumption by 20% and to achieve energy efficiency by notably adding a heat pump within the Club House or avoiding any heating within the sport’s infrastructures (tennis, squash, hockey). 

 

 

Engagement

 

With its 5 hectares and 3,000 members, the Royal Léopold Club has a non-negligible impact on the environment (water consumption, energy consumption, mobility, incoming and outgoing flows). The club does not just make young athletes better on the field. It encourages them to become aware of the importance of reducing their carbon footprint and safeguarding the environment. In terms of solutions, a lot has already been done. But for the committee, the club’s awareness is not yet optimal and not all members do not feel sufficiently concerned. To guarantee a better awareness among all the club’s members and employees, a better structure and communication on the actions is essential. 

 

That’s where the collaboration with Tapio is crucial. Thanks to Tapio’s expertise, the RLC now understands its carbon footprint and is empowered to better structure and communicate on its actions. This should help it to raise awareness more efficiently among all its members and eventually enable it to continue inspiring change on its level. 


Just like the Royal Léopold Club, any sports club or organisation can initiate change on its level. You can also become an inspiration and lead the way towards climate transition. Are you still wondering how? If you are still searching for an answer, you can already estimate your carbon impact  or get an estimate of the price that fits your profile and your current needs.


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