The "Carbon Bootprint" of Euro 2016: which nation's fans have the lowest carbon footprint when watching games.

Download the infographic: Euro 2016 “Carbon Bootprint” Wallchart: Which nation’s fans have the lowest carbon footprint when watching their team? (PDF)

With a population so small they would be unable to simultaneously fill the six largest stadia being used in the championship, Iceland are the winners thanks to providing almost all their electricity using hydropower and geothermal energy.

The Carbon Trust has calculated the “carbon bootprint” of individual fans watching a game of football at home in each of the 24 nations competing in the tournament. This finds that watching on an LED smart TV through digital terrestrial television is the lowest carbon option for watching a match. If a set top box is required to view the match that can increase the carbon footprint more than 50 percent, while watching through a cable connection can increase emissions over 10 times.

With more options to watch football online than ever before, the Carbon Trust has also looked at the impact of watching games on smartphones and tablets. This analysis finds that watching on a smartphone or tablet over Wi-Fi can have a significantly bigger impact than watching a digital terrestrial signal on a smart TV. A game watched in lower resolution on the smaller smartphone having an impact over 3 times greater, and a match viewed in high definition on a tablet can be 12 times more carbon intensive.

Because providing mobile data requires far more electricity than broadcasting a digital terrestrial signal, this is the highest carbon option for viewing a football match at home. Watching on a smartphone in standard definition can be 40 times greater than a digital terrestrial signal on an LED smart TV, whilst watching in high definition on a tablet across a fast mobile network can be a more than 180 times more carbon intensive.

In ranking the nations competing in Euro 2016, Iceland may top the table with some of the lowest carbon electricity in the world, but there are other nations that perform particularly well when compared to the other teams in the tournament. These countries include Albania, Sweden, Switzerland and France.

Albania is the runner-up as it produces almost all the country’s electricity from hydroelectric power stations. Next in the rankings are Sweden and Switzerland, who both provide the majority of their grid electricity from a mixture of both hydropower and nuclear power.

Euro 2016 hosts France also put in a good show, generating around three quarters of its electricity from nuclear reactors. France’s low carbon electricity also provides emissions reductions from neighbouring countries, including the UK, as France is also a major exporter of clean electricity. And the tournament’s worst performance comes from one of the co-hosts of Euro 2012, Poland, due to the fact the country generates the vast majority of its electricity supply from coal.

Hugh Jones, Managing Director of Business Advice at the Carbon Trust said:

“To address the challenge of climate change we are going to need to provide a lot more low carbon electricity and transition away from the use of fossil fuels. Our analysis highlights that some countries have already achieved a lot, in part thanks to abundant renewable energy resources. But many European countries are currently going through ambitious low carbon energy transitions that are setting an example for the rest of the world. For example, Portugal recently went four days without using fossil fuels to provide electricity. And over the past month more electricity in the UK was provided by solar panels than by coal power plants.

“At the same time as producing more clean electricity, it is also important to help people to use energy more efficiently. In any country an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint while watching Euro 2016 is to come together locally and share a screen with family, friends and neighbours. This comes with the added benefit of creating a far better atmosphere for cheering on your team.”


How do the Euro 2016 countries rank on low carbon electricity?

















Slovak Republic














Republic of Ireland


Northern Ireland               
















Czech Republic





Notes to Editor


The Carbon Trust calculated the carbon emissions for viewing options by determining the total energy consumed by a device while watching a game. To these total energy consumption values regional emission factors were applied for each country to determine the volume of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted. Product life cycle assessment data was obtained from manufactures of difference devices and research previously conducted by the Carbon Trust was used to establish the energy consumed during the use of a device. The energy required to power digital transmission as well as mobile and fixed lined internet streaming were calculated using industry published values and Carbon Trust expertise. These two factors were then combined under various scenarios of viewing (e.g. HD vs. SD mobile streaming on a tablet) from which the total energy consumed per game was calculated.

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.

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