The ATP has today announced a wave of new initiatives that will ensure this year’s Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 is the most sustainable tournament since the prestigious season-ending event moved to London in 2009. The range of measures have been developed to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the 8-day event, in particular the amount of plastic used by players and fans.
For the first time, each player and their teams will be provided with optional re-usable bottles for their on-court drinks, while sealed glass bottles will be provided in the player locker rooms and bedrooms for the preparation of their on-court drinks.
Many of the ATP’s leading players have expressed support for the initiative, including Kevin Anderson, Vice President of the ATP Player Council, who stated: “As leading tennis players we have an important role to play in setting examples and being positive role models for future generations. We are in a fortunate position where we might be able to affect some positive change, no matter how small it might be. Protecting the environment and reducing plastic waste on the Tour is something that I am very passionate about, along with many of my peers. This is a really positive step forward and I encourage as many of my fellow competitors to embrace these initiatives.”
Water coolers and fountains will also be placed at various points backstage for tournament staff and media, along with the provision of reusable water bottles to reduce the number of plastic water bottles used over the duration of the tournament.
Additionally, for the first time at the season-ending event, The O2 are working in partnership with Stack-Cup to provide fans with reusable cups for alcoholic drinks purchased at the venue, which they can return or take home. This will significantly reduce the number of plastic bottles and single use plastic drinks containers sold, with an estimate 50,000 single use plastic cups being removed from the event waste stream.
Former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka, who competed at the season-ending event from 2013-2016, added: “Protecting the environment is very close to my heart and I fully support what the ATP is doing with these changes. I know that many of my fellow players on the Tour feel the same way and I hope that these initiatives will be replicated at many of our tournaments on the Tour in 2019 and beyond. We can all do better and I’m committed to playing my part. Next year is the year for us all to make a difference and I’m looking forward to picking up the mantle and putting everything I have behind the initiative of the recycled bottle.”
Working in close co-operation with AEG, the operators of The O2, all waste on-site during the Nitto ATP Finals will be passed through the on-site waste compound which houses the latest recycling and waste technology. The O2 currently commits less than 1% of its 3,500 tonnes of waste per annum to landfill; segregating all oils, cardboard, wood, food, glass and Dried Mixed Recyclables on-site to reduce waste impact. In addition, an on-site wormery composts food waste and generates fertilizer.
John Langford, VP and GM of The O2, said: “Our vision is to reduce The O2’s environmental impact and build a sustainable, green business for our fans and staff. AEG is leading the way in the sports and live entertainment industries, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with ATP in delivering on this.”
In addition, at the end of the tournament the three courts used at The O2 (Centre and two practice courts) will be removed and stored so that they can be used again at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals at The O2.
Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “I believe that every organisation must operate in the most sustainable way possible – pioneering new ways to reduce environmental impact and encourage sustainable behaviour. Making advances in this area is absolutely vital and the changes we’ve introduced at The O2 this year will make a really positive difference by drastically reducing the amount of plastic used and wasted.”
The Nitto ATP Finals takes place at The O2, London, from 11-18 November. The tournament welcomes more than 250,000 fans to The O2 arena annually, as well as generating global viewership figures reaching an average of 95 million viewers each year, as the ATP’s best eight singles players and doubles teams compete over eight days at the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world.