The project that started in 2017-1018 has achieved its first important goal, and the Pelicans Liiga team can now officially declare itself as the world's first carbon neutral ice hockey team. The carbon footprint was calculated by Assistant Professor Ville Uusitalo from LUT University. His goal was to calculate the carbon footprint of Pelicans Lahti during one Finnish Liiga season, based on the standards of ISO Life Cycle assessment.
The analysis was based on the same calculation limits as Hepo-Oja's (2018) review of the Finnish Ice Hockey League. The areas included in this review are the team's travel for away games, the commuting of players and staff, and the travelling of spectators to home games. In addition, the review includes the hockey team's share of Isku Arena's use of electricity, heat and ice machines, as well as waste management.
The first calculation was made for the season 2017-2018 and the most recent calculation for the season 2020-21. During the comparison period, the league team's carbon footprint decreased by more than 70%. The remaining 130 tCO2eq has been compensated by Pelicans Lahti through projects certified by the internationally recognized Gold Standard.
"Pelicans have shown how a sports team can reduce the climate impact of their own activities. This is also an interesting example from a research point of view, as there is still relatively little information on the climate impact of sport and the potential for reducing it. I hope that Pelicans' example will encourage others to reduce their own climate emissions", says LUT's associate professor Ville Uusitalo.
"We are very proud of this achievement and we hope that our example will inspire other sports teams to work for this important matter. World's first carbon neutral ice hockey team is a milestone for us but our environmental work will continue from this forwards", says CEO of Pelicans Lahti Lauri Pöyhönen.