Real Betis celebrates the first ‘Forever Green’ Gala for Sustainability

The audience of Telefónica of Madrid welcomed the event which contained three round tables of world sports experts, where they discussed the sector’s commitment to the environment. During the Gala they will introduce the first edition of the Forever Green prizes.

Seville, June 7th 2023. Real Betis - through their environmental program Forever Green - has celebrated the first Gala for Sustainability 'Forever Green,' an event with the objective of demonstrating the commitment of the sports world to the fight against climate change and the principle challenges to the sector's leaders to create sports events that are 100% responsible to the environment. 

The audience of the Telefónica of Madrid has welcomed the first Forever Green Gala in collaboration with the newspaper Marca, official media partner of the sustainability platform of Real Betis. The event had more than 350 attendees. 

This is the first time a Spanish soccer club has organized an event exclusively dedicated to environmental sustainability. The Forever Green Gala - directed by Nuria Curz, the presenter from the newspaper Marca - was inaugurated by Ion Vinci, director of the World Organization of Tourism of the ONU, and Ana Muñoz, general subdirector of the Development and Sustainability of the Government of Spain.

Environmental Sustainability in the Sports Sector

Through the inaugural event, they have begun the first of the round tables: 'Sustainable Business Linked to Sports.' It was moderated by Carlos Carpio, Elena Valderrábano, director of Sustainability for Telefonica, José María Galofre, CEO of Volvo Cars in Spain; Arancha Escalada, director of sustainability for Reale Seguros; and Eugenio Solla, director of Sustainability for CiaxaBank, debated about the advances that have to be realized to be environmentally responsible entities. 

Businesses are linked to sports through the players. Theresa Zabell, Olympic Champion and president of the Ecomar Foundation; Alberto Longo, founder and director of Formula E; Javier Guillén, general director of La Vuelta; Marc Gasol, president and player of Bàsquet Girona, Gonzaga Escaurioza, president of the Spanish Golf Federation, and the runner up of the World of Apnea Miguel Lonzango star the round table "Sustainability in Sports". 

The Gala welcomed four grand competitions of Spanish Sports 

featured in the round table "Sustainability on the level of the biggest sports categories". Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga; Beatriz Álvarez, president of the Liga F; Javier Lozano, president of the LNFS; and Antonio Martin, president of the ACB, have starred in the debate moderated by Juan Ignacio Gallardo, director of Marca. 

Premios Forever Green 

During the event, the first edition of the Forever Green Prizes were introduced, which recognize the work and commitment to the environment from entities, businesses, and people from the sports sector. An ex-player from Real Betis, Héctor Bellerín, has received the prize in the category 'Sustainable Spokesperson' for promoting a lifestyle respectful to the planet. He could not attend due to an agenda conflict, but he sent a video thankful for this recognition. 

In the Category of "Sustainable Sports Club" the awardee is Forest Green Rovers, an English club recognized worldwide for their commitment to the planet, and considered by FIFA the most sustainable club in the word. The club could not be present during the Gala but they have sent a video demonstrating their thanks for the recognition and for the commitment of Real Betis to the environment. 

For their contributions, the Irish soccer club Bohemian F.C. received the Forever Green Prize in the category "Best Sustainable Project". The club from Dublin has a strong commitment in the fight against climate change through their initiative Climate Justice, which permits the club to take environmental measures through their fans and their community. 

The Climate Pledge, a platform created in 2019 by Amazon, is the winner of the Forever Green Prize "Promotion of Global Climate Collaboration". This initiative has committed to the achievement of carbon neutrality and zero emissions by 2040, ten years before they promised in the Paris Agreement. In 2020, Real Betis was the first Spanish entity that was included in this project, which already counts more than 300 businesses and institutions from 51 sectors and 29 countries who have signed this agreement. Daniel Salter, senior engagement manager for The Climate Pledge, was in charge of receiving this recognition. 

Renfe, official transport of Real Betis for the transport of their soccer and basketball clubs, has received the Forever Green prize for "Leader of the Sustainable Movement". It is the primary consumer of Spanish renewable energy (with more than 2.6% of the total renewable electrical energy consumed in the country) and it will permit the reduction of more than 7 million tons of CO2 by 2030. Renfe and their railways are contributing to 73.6% of the total decarbonization. The business allowed the players to travel in a sustainable form on their trains, and are a habitual patron in the sport industry. Francisco Arteaga, director of the area of negotiations for Alta Velocidad has received this prize presented by Ramón Sanchez, CEO of Real Betis. 

The collaborator of Forever Green, Gravity Wave, is a social startup who has impacted the environment through the cleaning of plastic in the seas, creating a real impact on the environment and permitting the businesses to commit to the environmental cause, has received the Forever Green for "Best Sustainable Startup". Together with Gravity Wave and Reale Seguros, Real Betis has installed the first seats created 100% with fishing nets recovered from the bottom of the sea in the Benito Villamarín Stadium. Jules Rodriquez, co-CEO of Gravity Wave, received the prize presented by Rafael Muela, manager of the Real Betis FOundation. 

Templo Cafés, business collaborator of Forever Green, has been selected in the category of "Producto Ecológico". They are business leaders in the Iberian Peninsula as their green coffee originates from the best ecological plantations, cooperatives and farmers. In 2022, they reduced the composition of plastic in their products by 55% from 2021. Their achievements align with the values and work of Forever Green. 

Sevilla Turismo received the Forever Green Prize in the category of "Best Strategy of Sustainable Tourism" for the project Sevilla Ciudad Sostenible. The Andalusian capital has worked for many years on a new city model with the objective to achieve a more competitive, intelligent, innovative, sustainable, responsible, and inclusive city. To achieve this, they based it on a clear strategy called Economía del Visitante. This new concept spearheads the promotion of the city not only to attract visitors, but also investors and talent. And that everyone comes together in equilibrium and will benefit equally from this strategy whose priority is not only environmental sustainability, but also economic and social. Their work creates a more sustainable city where the quality of life of both the residents and the experience of visitors are improved.

What is Forever Green? 

Forever Green has celebrated more than two years working in the fight against climate change, becoming an entity in one of the soccer clubs most committed to the environment in the world, and within the most sustainable team of LaLiga according to a study by Holaluz. Furthermore, Brand Finance has recently placed Real Betis as the second most sustainable European club for, among other initiatives, their program Forever Green . 

Since the birth of Forever Green they have united 80 entities under the platform and have developed 88 projects, like the cleaning of natural spaces, the installation of a skate fleet, and electric bikes for the employees of the club, additionally promoting their use for the fans through discounts and recycling campaigns and conscientiousness. Forever Green has been recognized on a world level, reaching 598 million people and arriving to 75 countries.