IPL 2010 Season Carbon Footprint Control Project

- Posted by Vivek Gilani on April 27

Eliminate Carbon Emissions (ECE) Pvt. Ltd was contracted by the IPL Management upon the recommendation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to calculate the IPL’s annual carbon footprint (i.e. an inventory of the total greenhouse gas emissions – GHGs – that contribute to climate change, resulting from direct and indirect resource consumption through DLF IPL 2010’s annual operations).

The total carbon footprint of DLF IPL 2010 was estimated to be 42,264 tons CO2e. DLF IPL 2010’s Carbon Footprint can be thought of as requiring 169,055 trees to ‘neutralise’ its impact on climate change over a period of 20 years. This equates to approximately 2,818 trees per match.

The following activities comprise its carbon Footprint, in order of decreasing magnitude: travel and logistics (18,073 tons CO2e – 42.8%), stadium construction (9,932 tons CO2e – 23.5%), luxury hotel accommodation (9,927 tons CO2e – 23.5%) , food, beverage, and waste (1,201 tons CO2e – 2.8%) and electricity (996 tons CO2e – 2.4%). These results are displayed in the chart below:

IPL, Carbon Footprint, GHG emissions,

Relative stakeholder contributions to the DLF IPL 2010 Carbon Footprint are: IPL/IMG Operations (9,861 tons CO2e – 23%), state association operations (12,861 tons CO2e – 30%), franchise operations (5,243 tons CO2e – 12%), spectator activities (14,300 tons CO2e – 35%). The following chart displays the results:

Total Carbon Footprint Summary - Stakeholder Groups Breakdown

A majority of the carbon footprint of DLF IPL 2010 is the consequence of activities related to its contractors, while only 23% of the footprint is a direct consequence of direct IPL/IMG managed operations. It is imperative that footprint mitigation strategies account for this aspect of footprint distribution.

Spectators are the most significant stakeholders in terms of contribution to total carbon footprint. Private vehicular travel is the single largest contributing factor – responsible for 6,517 tons CO2e (45%) of the stadium spectator carbon footprint. It is imperative to address this disproportionately heavy reliance on private transport consumed for spectator travel when addressing the overall IPL carbon footprint.

TV viewership-related carbon footprint for DLF IPL 2010 was 358,039 tons CO2e and far outweighed the contributions of any other stakeholder or activity considered within the IPL carbon footprint boundary. This component of carbon footprint, and its root cause–large quantity of consumption of electricity through TV sets–needs to be addressed with greater emphasis on its analysis and mitigation through innovative strategies and interventions in future editions of the IPL.

The impact of stadium construction, one of the primary activities contributing significantly to the IPL footprint, needs to be mitigated by intervening and exploiting opportunities to infuse low-carbon and green architecture and construction practices as the cornerstone of future stadium construction activities at proposed stadiums that are intended for use by the IPL.

Best practice examples for a majority of stakeholder functions within the IPL have been identified and quantified and their initial feasibility assessed. Best practice benchmark replication across the IPL must be pursued as a potent and actionable strategy for optimizing the carbon footprint of the IPL prior to any resource and capital-intensive carbon footprint minimisation strategies.

All interventions must be accompanied by effective communication to all internal and external stakeholders. They must also be in consonance with a well thought-out greening strategy that aims not just at a carbon neutral IPL but sets itself the loftier target of an IPL that is a net carbon sink (an indicative road map is presented in Appendix H of the original report).

Best practice incentivisation through formal programs and its incorporation into contractual negotiations processes with all vendors, contractors and other relevant stakeholders is ascertained to be the most feasible ‘first step’ on the pathway to drastically reducing the carbon footprint of IPL in the forthcoming seasons. Central IPL support and nurturing of competitive franchise behavior through formal recognition of the ‘lowest carbon footprint’ or ‘greenest’ franchise is one illustrative example that may be expanded to envelop all aspects of IPL operations in future editions.

The carbon footprint determined as part of this project phase does not account for the entire life-cycle of the resources consumed and their comprehensive impact on Climate Change and ecology. Accounting for resource acquisition, processing, and disposal impacts could magnify the current extent manifold. A life-cycle analysis (LCA) of all primary resources consumed is essential to ascertain a more comprehensive carbon footprint that tends towards the true climate change impact of IPL. It is recommended that IPL 2011 be assessed on a LCA basis and that preparatory work for an LCA study be commissioned as part of the next phase of the project. The activity boundaries are outlined in the following table:

IPL Activity Boundary Summary

IPL Activity Boundary Summary - 2

It is recommended that the IPL commission ECE to commence a comprehensive carbon footprint minimization analysis as part of a long-term ‘greening program’ (in fulfillment of its MOU with the UNEP’s Sports and Environment Unit) to identify means and alternatives for optimising and minimising its resource intensiveness.

Prior to minimising and offsetting the impact of future IPLs, it is recommended that the IPL commit to neutralise the impact of, as minimum, the four knock-out phase matches of DLF IPL 2010 (estimated to be 3,148 tons). While multiple options for offsetting are available in the conventional Carbon Offset market, the alternatives that result in equitable distribution of benefits to the grassroots stakeholder communities who are imperative to the project’s implementation are preferred as a more potent agent of social and environmental transformation.


The original report can be read here.


About Vivek Gilani

n Environmental Engineer (MS Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts) with expertise in Water, Wastewater Treatment and GHG Inventorying, and Energy Auditing/Analytics. Co-founder of India’s first Carbon-Footprint-Calculation and Reduction movement - the NO2CO2 project at www.no2co2.in, Developer of India-specific Carbon ERP Tools and GHG Emission Factor Databases under the Climatenomics Platform, Co-Founder and Member of the Steering Committee for the First Ecolabelling Program in India - TheGreenSignal, and a civic-rights interventionist working to usher in an era of informed participation in democracy in India as Founder of the ‘Informed Voter Project’ currently on the web at. He is in the process of acquiring formal certification from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (India) as a Certified Energy Auditor.f both products and service categories from a ‘Lifecycle’, i.e., cradle-to-grave perspective.

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