In terms of its effects upon the public, the UEFA EURO 2008™ was the largest sporting event that was ever held in either Austria or Switzerland. Austria and Switzerland have developed a joint sustainability strategy for UEFA EURO 2008™. The two host nations, Austria and Switzerland, in cooperation with UEFA and with the eight host cities: Basle, Berne, Geneva, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Vienna and Zurich conducted an overall evaluation and draw up a sustainability report on the implementation of the sustainability strategy.
The greatest environmental impact of a large event is in the transport area. For this reason, the host countries set themselves ambitious targets for the involvement of public transport. Climate protection was of the utmost importance in the area of energy. As an example, a large part of the power consumption was supplied by renewable sources of a high ecological standard (green electricity). The saving of resources stood uppermost in the area of waste management: Priority was given to avoiding waste through the use of returnable cups, the application of the “wrap in” campaign and the foregoing of the distribution of advertising materials. In order to guarantee the recycling of materials, PET bottles and aluminium cans were sorted and recycled. The EURO 2008 collection and return quotas were good, and both the returnable cups and waste separation concepts were well accepted and implemented by the visitors.
As the most important measure for the reduction of waste, the sustainability strategy recommended the use of returnable cups or of ecologically comparable beverage containers. The ecological superiority of returnable cups over disposable cups – even under the specific conditions of the EURO 2008 – was clearly proven by the trinational ecological balance created in assignment by the environmental ministries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, as well as various states, cantons and cities. The use of returnable cups also essentially reduced the littering problem – for the incentive to return cups was made more attractive through the offer of a deposit.
To ensure the material cycle, caterers collected and sorted PET bottles in their backstage areas, and partly also aluminium cans, and took them for recycling. In most of the host city fan zones and fan miles waste was collected and sorted. Instead, drinking cups were made refundable and then collected and sorted by type in the backstage areas.