As any sports fan knows, September is the busiest time for Australia’s home of sport, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
In September 2018, in an Australian first, the MCG and Yarra Park precinct became carbon neutral territory when it joined EnergyAustralia’s carbon neutral movement and offsets all the emissions generated during its busiest time.
EnergyAustralia offset all the emissions not only from the venue precinct for the month, but also the transport emissions of over 400,000 people to and from the precinct, and from food and beverage manufacture and preparation.
Food for thought – and sport
At the MCG during the month of September, fans consume 13 tonnes of hot dogs and meat pies.
Stuart Fox, Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Cricket Club which manages the MCG, said carbon neutrality was one of many recent initiatives to make the MCG and its surrounds more sustainable.
“It’s exciting to know we can provide fans with a great experience while completely offsetting their impact on the environment,” Mr Fox said.
On average, the MCG precinct including the stadium and Yarra Park consumes around 1.65 million kWh of electricity during September, comparable to the monthly energy demand of 4000 average Victorian homes.^
Into the record books
This initiative was the first time an Australian stadium completely offset its carbon emissions for a period of time. It’s part of a broader partnership between the MCC and EnergyAustralia aimed at finding better, smarter ways for all Victorians to use energy.
How do we make the MCG carbon neutral for a month?
To make the stadium precinct carbon neutral for September, EnergyAustralia purchased carbon credits from projects which offset greenhouse gas emissions including Savanna Fire Management, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory and a Renewable Lighting Scheme, India
Offsetting carbon emissions during September is the equivalent of planting (and maintaining) 100,000 trees1 or taking 50,0002 cars off the road for the month.
The MCG’s status as a carbon neutral precinct for September was certified by the Australian Government against the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).
EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said whether it’s the average suburban house or the home of sport, going carbon neutral is for everyone.
“If we can make Australia’s home of sport carbon neutral in September, imagine what we could achieve if one million households joined the carbon neutral movement.”
EnergyAustralia customers can choose carbon neutral electricity for their home at no additional cost.
^Based on average Victorian annual electricity usage of 5MW: Australian Energy Regulator, “Energy Consumption Benchmarks”, October 2017.
 Based on 5 trees to sequester one tonne of Co2: https://www.treesforlife.org.au/carbon/carbon-facts
2 Car numbers based on average cars emitting 4.6 tonnes of carbon each per year: https://www.epa.gov