The Roland-Garros commitment

The FFT has put sustainable development at the heart of its strategy as a federation and demonstrates this commitment at every event it organises. For the last ten years, Roland-Garros has included environmental, social and charitable actions in the tournament’s organisation, and has got all of the tournament’s protagonists involved.

Date for your diary: Saturday 5 June

On 5 June, Roland-Garros will celebrate World Environment Day. This day will aim to raise awareness among all of the tournament’s populations and will include the promotion of a new digital challenge, “Roland-Garros for the Planet”, which will be launched at the tournament. On this day, 100% of the food served in the hospitality areas will be responsibly sourced. 

Développement durable à Roland-Garros©Pauline Ballet / FFT

Showing increased commitment to the environment and to reducing the tournament’s environmental impact

Having embarked on a low-carbon trajectory, with 2030 as the target, Roland-Garros is working on reducing its carbon footprint by way of four key approaches, and is also contributing to projects that promote biodiversity in France thanks to the support of all of its stakeholders.

4 ways the tournament’s carbon footprint is being reduced:

1) Promoting sustainable and soft mobility

A survey carried out in 2018 showed that 72.2% of spectators travelled to the stadium on transport that emitted low levels of greenhouse gases or none at all (public transport, on foot, by bike, etc.). However, 21.1% came in their car (vehicle’s average occupancy: 2.85 people) and 6.7% in transport such as a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle.

In order to support more sustainable mobility, Roland-Garros has set up several initiatives:

  • The media and spectator shuttles are 100% electric.
  • A secure bicycle park has been set up near the stadium entrance, in response to the increasing popularity of bicycles in Paris and Greater Paris.
  • The whole official Peugeot fleet is 100% hybrid or electric and will be fully electric by 2024.
  • Within the framework of the “Mai à Vélo” (May on a Bike) event, organised by the group of the same name and initiated by the French Ministry of Transport, Roland-Garros is inviting cycling fans to try out two different cycle routes (one for ticket-holders and the other for tourists) available on the Roland-Garros app. They can ride around Paris and discover a series of sights connected with tennis and Roland-Garros!

2) Contributing to the development of renewable energies

Since April 2016 and for all of its sites (National Training Centre, Jean-Bouin, Roland-Garros), the FFT has been supplied with 100% renewable energy from ENGIE. In addition to the mobile charging stations – some of which are powered using “classic” solar power – the FFT and ENGIE are installing innovative organic and flexible solar panels in two areas of the stadium, as an experiment this year but with the aim of rolling it out on a larger scale in the future.

3) Promoting and offering sustainable food in the stadium

In partnership with Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s GoodPlanet Foundation, the FFT is working with all of the tournament’s restaurants and caterers on a sustainable nutrition plan, with the aim of offering products that are ever more responsible, something that is necessary in face of the climate crisis: certified, seasonal, locally-sourced, etc.

The food served to the general public includes a range of food products certified “Climate friendly”. The products with this label have a low carbon impact, according to the criteria rigorously defined with the GoodPlanet Foundation.

On 5 June, World Environment Day, the food served in the hospitality areas will be 100% sustainable, with a menu created using certified and seasonal products that respect the environment.

4) Reducing and repurposing waste

Since 2014, the FFT has rolled out a project to fight food waste, organised by the Le Chaînon Manquant charity. Any untouched food will be redistributed to various organisations in Paris that help disadvantaged people. This operation could not exist without the active involvement of the tournament’s caterers, Potel et Chabot, Paris Society and Sodexo. During the 2020 tournament, the equivalent of more than 5,300 meals were redistributed.

Beyond this project, which has a strong social impact, Roland-Garros is continuing to carry out actions to improve recycling and reduce waste at the source:

  • An efficient recycling system is set up during the tournament. Thirteen different waste streams are sent to recycling and processing plants. In 2020, 46% of the tournament’s waste was recycled this way.
  • Reusable cups: Ecocups, which are used instead of disposable cups and are handed out in exchange for a €1 deposit, are automatically offered to spectators, whether for coffee, cold drinks, wine or even champagne. Every year, they help save 8 tons of non-recyclable cups. 
  • Bio-waste: A system to manage bio-waste (food and organic waste) has now been rolled out in all of the organiser, media and player restaurants, as well as the new Village. More than 24 tons of bio-waste was composted by earthworms after the 2020 tournament. In the space of five years, the quantity of bio-waste collected at Roland-Garros has been multiplied by almost 20, going from 2.6 (in 2014) to 50 tons (in 2019).
  • Plastic bags: The FFT and its partners made the decision to ban plastic bags inside the stadium. Now paper bags are given out in the shops and food stores, and only when truly necessary. Furthermore, plastic “polybags” are no longer used to wrap the tennis racquets in the stringing rooms.

A system to collect waste water has been set up in the area set aside for players to practice during the tournament (Jean-Bouin). It recycles and filters the used shower water and uses it to flush the toilets. This system, which is inspired by the one used in the Concordia station in the Antarctic, allowed 24,000 litres of drinking water to be saved.

Récupérateur d'eau Roland-Garros©Christophe Guibbaud / FFT

Actions that promote biodiversity

1) Eco-contributions via the #Tennis4Climate movement

Initiated at the 2020 tournament with the carbon calculator, which is rolled out courtesy of tournament sponsor BNP Paribas and the company ClimateSeed, the #Tennis4Climate movement is being extended in 2021 thanks to contributions from the tournament sponsors, which will be used to co-finance a reforestation project on Mont Ventoux, in the Toulourenc forest, which is planned for autumn 2021. This follows on from the first successful reforestation project that was financed thanks to Roland-Garros 2020, in the state-owned Belvédère forest.

Having been involved in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur’s “1 million d’arbres” (1 million trees) project since 2020, the FFT is supporting this approach, which aims to contribute to renewing the forest in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, one which is 51% forest and is severely affected by global warming.

“The FFT is very proud to be involved in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region’s Climate Plan and to be part of this superb initiative. This reforestation project is a concrete illustration of the FFT’s commitment to helping the environment, particularly through the events that the federation organises,” announced Gilles Moretton, President of the French Tennis Federation.

In 2021, Hespéride, an Official Supplier of Roland-Garros, are doing their bit for this cause by donating €1 for every Roland-Garros deckchair sold. This additional contribution will be put towards the reforestation project on Mont Ventoux and will fund the planting of 277 Atlas cedar trees, within the framework of this project.

The carbon calculator, supported by BNP Paribas and developed by social business ClimateSeed (with the support of Professor Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize), estimates the carbon footprint of the journeys people have made to get to the stadium. For those who are following the tournament from home, the carbon calculator estimates their annual carbon footprint based on their lifestyle and consumer habits. People can then offset their carbon footprint by donating the amount of their choice to the reforestation project on Mont Ventoux.

The FFT will match every donation made, up to a maximum €10,000.

Eco-calculateur Roland-Garros©Amelie Laurin / FFT

2) Preserving biodiversity inside the stadium

The project to modernise Roland-Garros stadium included a desire to improve local biodiversity and the site’s ecological role with an ecological management plan designed by a professor from the French Natural History Museum. This plan was rolled out over the five years of building work.

As an example, the local fauna has been preserved: natural borders have been created to connect the Bois de Boulogne up with the city’s parks. The installation of insect hotels will encourage a variety of insects – some new, some already on site – to make the stadium their home. These insect hotels, which are specifically adapted to the species already present on the site, join the 21 beehives tended year-round on the FFT’s sites, including the roof of the Club des Loges and the Village. This initiative helps maintain the local bee population as well as boosting the reproduction of certain plants, thanks to the bees’ role in pollination.

Ruches à Roland-Garros©Amelie Laurin / FFT

A tournament that promotes inclusion and solidarity

1) An ever more accessible and inclusive tournament

Providing a suitable reception for disabled spectators and visitors with reduced mobility is one of the tournament’s priorities. As the work on the new Roland-Garros stadium progressed, various facilities were incorporated to improve the reception of people with reduced mobility.
As an example, Philippe-Chatrier court now has more than 50 seats for people with reduced mobility. Various services are provided in the stadium over the tournament fortnight:

  • Around twenty specialist reception staff are on duty to help disabled spectators and their chaperones to find their way around, whatever their disability.
  • Wheelchairs can be borrowed by people who have trouble walking towards or around the stadium.
  • Disabled seating is available on all courts.
  • New lifts have been fitted.
  • A free shuttle service for disabled visitors has been put in place by Peugeot to transport spectators to the stadium from the various public transport stations.
  • Awareness is raised among the partners present on site.

In order to respond to the standards set out in the accessibility policy and to improve the reception of spectators with specific requirements, every year the FFT organises a day of discussion with experts and members of associations that work with people with disabilities.

Aide aux usagers en fauteuil roulant à Roland-Garros©Amelie Laurin / FFT

By bringing the TV production in-house this year, the FFT wanted to assert its desire to support and empower females working in TV production for major sporting events. This year the FFT is using two female producers, Sigrid Lelievre and Kate McKeag, on the show courts, as well as Camille Decaux and Marion Goubin on the outside courts. The FFT is also supporting a training programme for sports event producers, the Broadcast Academy by HBS “Project Access”, namely by providing content for the course. Not only is the course’s aim to train future producers, but it also encourages diversity in sport by organising training courses aimed at women who want to forge a career in this field.

2) Actions to promote solidarity and community relationships

In addition to the tournament’s iconic charity actions, like Stars Set and Match sponsored by “Hair Rituel by Sisley” and Aces du Cœur sponsored by BNP Paribas, a number of new initiatives are being rolled out for this year’s tournament. In 2020, the charity donation box set up in the players’ locker rooms on Philippe-Chatrier court allowed the players to donate any unwanted sports equipment, which was then collected by the Emmaüs Solidarité charity and redistributed to people in need. Boosted by last year’s success, this initiative will be extended this year to include the ballkids, who will make their own contribution to this cause via the “Responsible Ballkids” programme, launched this year. 

Borne de don à Roland-Garros©FFT

Though the health situation means that the traditional “Kids’ Day” charity event cannot be held this year, a similar amount to the profits made at the 2019 event will be donated to the charities involved: Fête le Mur, who work for the FFT in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and the clubs who carry out charitable actions. Thanks to the “Trophées des Actions Solidaires” awards, in 2020, 116 clubs won awards for their actions to help disabled tennis, grassroots tennis, tennis for health and even adaptive tennis. 

For the second year in a row, Roland-Garros is selling a series of lovely tournament photographs, available online and in the La Griffe boutique. These images are both iconic and charitable, as the proceeds from their sale will go to associations that support tennis in France and abroad through social, philanthropic, educational, cultural and environmental projects via the FFT endowment fund (the FFT endowment fund is an independent structure dedicated to philanthropy and patronage). The photos will be showcased in the Roland-Garros “Land of contrasts” exhibition in the Molitor hotel (free entry from 20 May to 14 June 2021).

Exposition Photos Roland-Garros©FFT

Continuing to raise awareness

Throughout the fortnight, Roland-Garros is rolling out a campaign to raise public awareness via videos – some of which feature the players – shown inside the stadium, on the courts and on social media.

Due to the health crisis, this year the “Green Teams” are unable to wander around the stadium raising spectator awareness about sustainable development, but a host of actions are planned over the course of the fortnight, mainly in digital format. 

This year, the FFT is launching a digital challenge, “Roland-Garros for the planet”. Players, officials, ballkids, spectators and celebrity guests will share what they are doing for the planet in terms of mobility, food, reducing waste and biodiversity, and will invite internet users to share their own actions.

A sustainable development quiz will be posted online on the first day of the tournament to raise Roland-Garros fans’ awareness in a fun way about the tournament’s eco-responsible actions. Participants will be in with a chance of winning two tickets for the men’s singles final at Roland-Garros 2022.

“We’re all in a wheelchair” day

Though it is always popular with spectators, the seventh edition of our event to promote wheelchair tennis, sponsored by The Adecco Group, will not be held in 2021. The aim of this event, when it does take place, is to enable tennis fans of all ages to learn more about wheelchair tennis and to bring able-bodied and disabled tennis players together. This event also encourages disabled spectators to get into tennis, as the Federation offers wheelchair tennis in many of its clubs.

International, institutional and local commitments

 

In May 2014, Roland-Garros became the first international sporting event in France to hold the ISO 20121 certification (responsible event). In 2020, this certification has been renewed for the second time, for another 3 years, confirming the tournament’s commitment to eco-responsibility for the long term and making it part of the tournament’s DNA.

In partnership with the French Ministry of Sports and the WWF, back in January 2017, Roland-Garros signed a charter of 15 eco-responsible commitments for sporting events, which is based on ambitious and quantifiable objectives.

What is more, the FFT has joined the Sports for Climate Action movement, initiated by the UNFCCC (United Nations for Climate Action) and supported by the IOC, ever since it was created in December 2018. This movement appeals to sports organisers, and particularly the organisers of major international sporting events, to encourage them to take an active role in fighting climate change.

Finally, in November 2019, the FFT signed the Paris Action Climat charter, and has made a commitment, alongside the City of Paris, to reduce its emissions in order to fulfil the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.