IPL goes green, ties up with UNEP

Mumbai: Indian Premier League (IPL) joins the ranks of Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup by entering into a strategic tie-up with United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) in making its league green.

The IPL thus becomes the first sports body in the country to take such an initiative and plans to go carbon neutral by 2011.

“In close cooperation with the UNEP, the IPL will calculate its carbon footprint for each match during the 2010 season and take measures to reduce the carbon emission and compensate it with measures like planting of trees, eco-friendly waste management and efficient use of energy and water,” said Lalit Modi, IPL chairman and commissioner, during a press conference, where he signed an MoU with the UNEP representative Satinder Bindra.

When asked how he is planning to offset culprits like floodlights used during the match, which are huge energy guzzlers, Lalit said: “We will get energy emissions of these floodlights evaluated during a match and then try and offset it by using more energy efficient bulbs and planting trees.”

Bindra, director with the UNEP, had more plausible ideas. “Another way to address the issue is by using solar-powered floodlights and other renewable energy to reduce the carbon footprint.”

The IPL is also planning to use star cricketers to promote environmental awareness to millions of cricket fans in India and abroad. “Every day we are planning to televise environment-friendly tips to millions of viewers across the world so that they can incorporate it into their lifestyle and help the world go green,” said Modi.

Bindra, who has been involved with the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup in a similar initiative said, “If I were to use a cricketing term, I think this tie-up is going to be an environmental game changer. It’s truly a landmark initiative and will go a long way to create environmental awareness among people as cricket is hugely popular in the country.”

The IPL intends to use its popularity to promote UNEP’s environmental initiatives such as the Climate Neutral Network, the Billion Tree Campaign and World Environment Day.

The tie-up is being seen as a trendsetting initiative in the country, more so as India will be hosting Commonwealth Games this year and co-hosting the ICC World Cup in 2011.

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