Carbon Trust to measure environmental impact of Tour de France

The 2014 Grand Départ will be the first time that cycling’s most prestigious race has come to Yorkshire.

The Carbon Trust will measure the environmental impacts of the Tour de France’s Grand Départ from Leeds, looking at carbon emissions, waste, and longer-term legacy impacts such as a shift from motorised transport to cycling. The report will look at how those environmental impacts are being managed and what could be improved. This will result in creating an environmental monitoring and management toolkit that can be used to attract future sporting events to the region, as well as helping to run them more effectively.

The last time that the Tour visited England was in 2007, when the route went from London to Kent and around 2 million spectators turned out over two days. This year could see even bigger crowds, with the popularity of cycling in the UK at an all-time high following Britain’s successes at the London 2012 Olympics, and with Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins as the two most recent winners of the Tour.

As there is currently no formal standard for assessing the environmental impact of events, the Carbon Trust will be building on work that was developed previously to assess sporting events, including the London 2012 Olympics.

The environmental impact assessment will involve looking at a number of factors, including the carbon and waste impacts of: the race itself, official events and activities, spectators, food and drink consumed, media coverage, road closures, the construction of temporary facilities for the Tour Caravan and a press centre, as well as any intent to change behaviour to adopt more sustainable transport choices.

The Tour de France is one of the world’s largest sporting events, reaching a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion in 188 countries, and attracting 12 million spectators each year. Through understanding and reducing the environmental impact of the Grand Départ it is therefore possible not just to create a sustainable event, but to have a big influence with fans of cycling around the world.

- Hugh Jones, Managing Director of Advisory at the Carbon Trust

There’s no doubt that the Tour de France will have a lasting impact and we’re keen to ensure that it is a positive one for the environment. With all aspects of the event under the sustainability microscope we have a great opportunity to measure that impact with the outcome influencing how major sporting events are managed in the future.

- Councillor Mark Dobson, Executive Member for the Environment at Leeds City Council


For further information please contact the Carbon Trust press office on 020 7170 7050 or email

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. The Carbon Trust:

  • advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low-carbon world;
  • measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services;
  • helps develop and deploy low-carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power