The Rugby World Cup is one of the most anticipated and watched sporting events globally. Every four years, teams from the four corners of the world come together to compete for the prestigious trophy.

However, behind this celebration of sportsmanship and athletic excellence lie significant environmental and social challenges. Which leads us to take a closer look at the impact of the Rugby World Cup on the environment and the efforts made to reduce its ecological footprint.

A large-scale sporting event, the Rugby World Cup presents the risk of creating a very harmful environmental impact if sustainable measures are not put in place to mitigate these consequences.

This is explained through different points, highlighting the environmental challenges that these events face:

  • CO2 emissions and pollution linked to travel:

The Rugby World Cup leads to a significant increase in travel for players, officials, fans and media across the world.

International flights and travel, whether by car or train, generate significant CO2 emissions, contributing to climate change and atmospheric degradation. What we have already had the opportunity to observe with the Football World Cup in Qatar.

For example, the travel of Wolfsburg club supporters to Germany would represent almost 60% of the club's total carbon footprint, according to estimates made by SAMI. In addition, and again according to the SAMI study, during Euro 2016 in France the share of travel also weighed heavily on the carbon footprint of the competition: travel to or from France represented 96 % of spectators' carbon footprint (i.e. 517,000 tonnes of CO2e). A fairly logical figure according to SAMI, since 36% of spectators came to France by plane and 33% chose the car.

  • Waste generated by events:

Stadiums and reception areas see crowds of thousands of people during the competition. This concentration of crowds inevitably generates significant waste: on average, each Ligue 1 or Ligue 2 match generates 10 to 11 tonnes of waste…

First of all, we find food packaging from refreshments and other points of sale. Meals and snacks served to spectators are often wrapped in single-use materials such as plastics and paper packaging, which can be difficult to recycle and inevitably end up in trash.

Additionally, plastic bottles represent another major waste problem because if these containers are not properly collected and recycled, they cause additional plastic pollution, especially if they end up in oceans and waterways , thus threatening marine fauna and biodiversity.

Additionally, there are other single-use materials such as cups, paper napkins and printed programs that contribute to the accumulation of waste during the event and require alternative solutions to be found to address it.

  • Pressure on local resources:

The organization of these events can also put a strain on local resources such as water, electricity and hospitality infrastructure because excessive use puts local ecosystems and communities at risk.

Based on this observation, the Rugby World Cup has chosen to act proactively by collaborating with all stakeholders in the organization of the event, with the aim of making this World Cup a model of sustainability. , inspiring other future events to also follow this responsible path. To do this, it adopted a strategy around 3 intrinsically linked axes.

  1. Priority to short circuits:

The Rugby World Cup France 2023 is taking action now for sustainable food by giving priority to local agriculture, as close as possible to consumers.

First of all, partnerships were established with local producers and regional farmers to supply the different areas hosting the competition. The food served during matches and festivities will come from environmentally friendly agriculture, favoring short circuits. This will reduce CO2 emissions linked to the transport of food over long distances, while supporting local economies.

Additionally, efforts have been made to encourage the use of organic and fair trade products. Strict criteria have been established to ensure that the food served meets high standards of quality and sustainability. At the same time, awareness campaigns are carried out to encourage participants and spectators to make responsible food choices.

By adopting this approach to sustainable eating, Rugby World Cup France 2023 encourages a positive change in eating habits, inspiring participants and fans to be more aware of the impact of their choices on the planet.

This initiative helps to make this international sporting event a real catalyst for a future that is more respectful of the environment and local resources.

  1. Climate solidarity:

The Rugby World Cup France 2023 places the protection of the planet at the heart of its concerns. As the 3rd world sporting event, it is its responsibility.

You should know that she is also a signatory of the Charter of 15 eco-responsible commitments from the Ministry of Sports and the WWF and intends to go beyond:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the implementation of a mobility plan built around clean transport (train, bicycle, carpooling, electric vehicles)
  • Protect biodiversity, in particular by renouncing the use of phytosanitary fertilizers for stadium lawns
  • Limit waste and respect the 3R rule: “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”.

It is on this last point that Flycup plays an essential role. Flycup packaging will be distributed to supporters throughout the event. Made from kraft cardboard and recyclable, Flycups are already present in many football stadiums and thus contribute to helping clubs to significantly reduce their carbon footprint by 28% (compared to traditional packaging described above).

So in addition to improving the fan experience, they also offer clubs the possibility of achieving commitments no. 3 and 6 targeted by the Charter of 15 commitments, thus increasing the chances of signatory clubs to receive their royalties relating to TV rights.

Thus, by integrating eco-responsible solutions like Flycup, the Rugby World Cup is establishing itself as a model of sustainability and setting an example in favor of protecting the planet. It contributes to preserving the environment, raising awareness among participants and the public and leaving a positive example for future generations.

  1. Responsible stadiums:

The nine stadiums which will host the Rugby World Cup France 2023 in Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse have resolutely committed to a responsible approach in favor of the environment and of the society.

Anxious to contribute positively to the future of the planet, these stadiums have implemented various concrete initiatives aimed at reducing their ecological impact and promoting sustainable practices:

  • Rainwater harvesting: thanks to rainwater collection and storage systems, they can then use it for watering lawns, sanitary facilities, and even cleaning infrastructure. This intelligent approach helps preserve fresh water resources, which are particularly precious in certain regions where the stadiums are located.
  • Selective sorting of waste: they set up separate collection systems for the different types of waste generated during matches and events, thus promoting the recycling and reuse of materials. This approach helps to reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfill and to limit the environmental impact of the event.
  • Combating the waste of unsold match goods: in partnership with local charities, they ensure that unsold food products are redistributed, thereby feeding people in need rather than wasting precious food resources.
  • The use of solar panels: by integrating solar installations on their roofs, stadiums can produce part of their electricity from a renewable energy source, thereby reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and their greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse.


The Rugby World Cup positions itself as a responsible sporting event that recognizes the environmental challenges it faces. To mitigate its negative impact on the planet, it has opted for specific choices in favor of sustainability articulated around three key axes. The adoption of Flycup is therefore fully in line with the Rugby World Cup's desire to reduce its environmental impact, particularly in terms of waste management.

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