Finnish hockey club aims to become world’s first carbon-neutral team

Last year, we shared a story about the Forest Green Rovers, a small football team in England that prides itself on being the greenest club on the planet. Now, we are happy to introduce you to the Lahti Pelicans, a Finnish ice hockey team that is determined to become the world’s first carbon-neutral hockey club in the world.

The club’s ambitious climate goal comes in celebration of the fact that the city was chosen as the 2021 European Green Capital. In a bid to showcase its city’s sustainability efforts, the club has replaced its jersey numbers with environmental facts about the city.

As such, the team’s jerseys feature numbers like “70%” to signify the city’s emissions reduction since the 1990s; the number “2019” to call attention to Lahti’s coal-free status since 2019; as well as “2025” to share Lahti’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. The new jerseys, with numbers ranging from “8%” to “650GWH”, debuted earlier this month.

“Lahti Pelicans wants to be a pioneer both in the rink and outside of it,” said Casimir Jürgens, a defensive player on the team. “We believe that action against climate change plays a decisive role in the future existence of our planet.”

On top of promoting its city’s environmental feats, the club has been taking measures of its own to cut carbon emissions. Among these is the team’s decision of giving up air travel as well as encouraging fans to travel to local matches on foot, bikes, or public transportation. Not only that, but the team’s ice hockey arena is powered solely by renewable energy, and the restaurants there only sell locally produced foods with plastic-free packaging.

“The match for the environment must be won together. We want to encourage and embolden everyone to get involved with their own contribution to climate change action,” said Jürgens.

If the city of Lahti sounds familiar, it’s probably because you read Saturday’s story about the world’s first ski-sharing program in Lahti. You can read all about that right here.

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