How sustainable is the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup?

HWC sustainability bins

“If everyone in the world consumed as many natural resources as the average person in Western Europe, we’d need three planets to support us” (United Nations).


This is why Joie Leigh, England Hockey’s Sustainability Manager, is committed to helping create a more sustainable world through the use of sustainable solutions, within the planning and delivery of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup (VHWWC). Hockey Maker Em Guy shares how we are working to make this event sustainable as possible. 

With a comprehensive sustainability policy in place for the event, contractors, partners and stakeholders have all provided their support to enable this World Cup to be as sustainable as possible. The Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup is leading the way in creating sustainable sports events. 

HWC sustainability pitch

It is the first major international tournament to be played on turf meeting new sustainability standards, with the water used for pitch watering using 30% less water per cycle. 

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre has excellent sustainability standards. Head of Sport and Leisure or Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Dan Buck says: “The award-winning building is rated as excellent on the BREEAM scale and all spectators will travel by public transport”. 

With no spectator parking available (with the exception of blue-badge holders), spectators are encouraged to use public transport and then walk Vitality Mile through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park when travelling to the venue, to reduce CO2 emissions.

As title sponsor, Vitality believe in a ‘Shared Value Philosophy’ which incorporates “the belief that what is good for us, should be good for our members and should be good for society as a whole” (Vitality). As part of this, Vitality support the development of grass-roots teams in order to encourage people to engage in healthy behaviours. 

HWC sustainability Vitality

Along the Vitality Mile activation zones have been introduced, giving spectators the chance to engage in various activities and games. 

Once in Fan Central sustainable solutions continue with caterers KERB banning all single use plastics (e.g. providing reusable stack-cups to spectators for £1) within its trade. Caters in the Arena, Boulevard Events, are striving to use biodegradable alternatives to plastic, meaning the amount of non-recyclable and non-compostable waste created at the event has been significantly reduced. This enables Brewsters, the event waste management company, to recycle up to 96% of the waste produced on event. 

HWC sustainability harrogate

Harrogate Spring Water has ensured that all of their bottles are 100% recyclable and are produced from at least 50% recycled materials. Free water taps are provided across both Fan Central and the Arena to allow spectators to refill their bottles rather than purchasing another.

Harrogate Spring Water’s activation in Fan Central promotes the recycling of their bottles through their ‘The Incredible Shrinking Bottle’ campaign which encourages consumers to ‘Twist It. Cap It. Recycle It.’. Drinks from Fullers are also being served in reusable stack cups to minimise the use of single use plastic cups. 

HWC sustainability Jaffa

Jaffa’s juice bar is created from upcycled pallets used in the transportation of their citrus, whilst their packaging is compostable and their ink is earth-positive.

‘Give the Gift of Hockey’ is a recycling initiative designed to collect and redistribute old hockey equipment, to enable and inspire people to play hockey.

With Adidas supporting the initiative, apparel is also reused and recycled, Simon Cartwright, senior director of team sports at Adidas AG said: "Take back schemes like this give us the chance to take old products and repurpose them so that they avoid ending up in landfill or the oceans and reduce the carbon footprint of making new products.” 

Spectators are able to recycle their old equipment and kit by donating it at the drop-off point within Fan Central, where it is collated and will then be redistributed across the UK and Africa.


Workforce meals are being served with compostable cutlery, plates, cups and napkins, plus a refillable water point in Hockey Maker lounge to reduce the use of single-use plastics. 

Sustainability Hockey Maker Champion Em Guy said: "As a Hockey Maker I have noticed a significant rise in the ways in which the VHWCC is sustainable, compared to previous events. It is important for the well-being of this and future generations to make events such as the VHWCC sustainable. 

"I am proud to be part of an event that promotes sustainability in all areas of its planning and delivery so that all areas of the event are both benefiting from and contributing to a more sustainable world."