“We want to protect the future of the game”

An environmental initiative to make football transfers less impactful on the planet  

ROOF, a sports agency that plays host to some of football’s biggest talents, has committed to take responsibility for the environmental impact of all their flights in 2023.  

The German organisation have tracked all their flights over the course of last year and are now compensating for the respective emissions built up. 

Common Goal and Football For Future, a UK-based climate advocacy non-profit organisation, have facilitated the initiative and will support alongside the journey. 

This corresponds with Common Goal’s belief that football is one of the few cultural forces strong enough to help move society towards a more sustainable future for all. 

Jérémy Houssin, Common Goal's environmental expert, commends ROOF's initiative, stating, "In an era where the consequences of climate change are starkly evident, it's encouraging to see football entities like ROOF acknowledging their responsibility. Football, as a global phenomenon, has a unique opportunity to set the standard for sustainability, and ROOF's proactive measures represent a powerful step towards that vision." 

Thorsten Wirth, Managing Director of ROOF, knows that it is difficult to avoid flights due to the nature of the business but acknowledges that measures can be put in place to compensate for the regular use of air travel. 

“By taking responsibility for our flights and investing in sustainable environmental projects, we want to take a first step in the right direction and at the same time raise awareness of sustainability in football," he said.  

The campaign relies on a rigorous and scientific methodology to calculate the environmental impact of the agency’s flights operated out of Germany during 2023, using the US Government’s social cost of carbon ($51 per tonne) to calculate the size of the donation. ROOF then donates the money to a combination of climate resilience, carbon offsetting and adaptation initiatives run by WWF.   

Through their compensation, ROOF will support climate resilience projects in Germany, the UK and Spain, three countries where they have a branch. 

Without being the perfect solution due to the reliance on flights, it's a promising action as ROOF is showing responsibility for its impact. At the same time, introducing this initiative to the football industry is a starting point to make transfers more environmentally friendly. 

This is a short-term solution but part of a long-term plan. ROOF’s ambition and work in 2024 are set with the goal of becoming more sustainable along the way.    

"We are aware that the effects of climate change are already being felt in many countries. These include countries where our players come from or where they currently play. We want to protect the future of the game,” added Wirth. 

ROOF is also working on a sustainability journey that besides compensating their emissions, they are accelerating the climate conversation in the game and using football’s power to create a positive environmental legacy.