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Ascot Racecourse details Net Zero progress as it signs UN climate framework

Ascot Racecourse has released its 2022 ‘Racing To Zero’ report detailing the achievements to date on its route to halving emissions by 2030 and aiming to achieve net-zero by 2040.

June 2023 saw the racecourse operate the Village Enclosure, situated in the centre of the racecourse, as a net-zero carbon emissions area at Royal Ascot. The Village Enclosure hosts approximately 20,000 racegoers across the three days it opens at the Royal Meeting and has seen year-on-year development having started with a single net-zero restaurant in 2022. Full findings and results will be published in Q4 as part of Ascot’s 2023 report.

Year round, Ascot says it is seeking to reduce, mitigate, and avoid carbon emissions wherever possbile. The objective is to change operations, collect data, analyse performance, educate, and understand how the business can roll out this net zero approach in the future.

Alongside this work, the venue has become a signatory of the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action Framework, which aims to unite global sporting organisations to lead the contribution of sport in tackling climate change as the community strives to be a driver of change as we collectively move to a future of low-carbon emissions.

Sports for Climate Action works towards two overarching goals:

  1. Achieving a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and;
  2. Using sports as a unifying tool to unite people from across the globe to promote climate action

Being a signatory to the framework, Ascot also commits to the below core aims and principles:

  • Reducing the overall climate impact from sports
  • Promoting greater environmental responsibility
  • Using Ascot’s platforms to educate for climate action
  • Advocating for climate action through communications
  • Promoting sustainable and responsible consumption

To ensure continuous improvement, all signatories are required to pledge at the head-of-organization level to reach (net)-zero by 2040 and to facilitate action towards emissions reductions targets through plans on how they are aiming to achieve interim targets. Signatories are requested to proceed with action toward their climate goals, reflecting the urgency of rapid emissions reductions. And finally, in order to maintain signatory status, an annual public record must be published to demonstrate the work being undertaken and map the continued development of targets.

Jonathan Parker, Managing Director of 1711 by Ascot – Ascot’s catering division, said: “Taking Ascot Racecourse on this sustainability journey is already reaping many rewards and signing up to the UN’s Sports For Climate Action Framework demonstrates our commitment for enacting positive change in our sport, community, and wider sporting world as we join many global brands in this pledge. An enormous amount of research and planning has gone into this year’s net zero Village Enclosure at Royal Ascot as we build towards a sustainable future. True sustainability goes much further than recycling so we have adopted a sustainable approach that interrogates every aspect of the way we do business.”

Download the 2022 Report in full here.


Stuart O'Brien

All stories by: Stuart O'Brien