September 22, 2023

Working to create a sustainable future with the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2022

Rugby World Cup

On the eve of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, which will be held in Cape Town, we take a look at some of the initiatives that will be implemented over the course of this weekend and beyond.

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 has yet to see a kick or try scored, but early indications are that it will leave a lasting impact in South Africa and abroad.

The worldwide aid organization ChildFund was revealed to have been named the RWC Sevens’ first-ever primary charity partner last month.

ChildFund is the main charity partner of Rugby World Cup 2021 and previously had a very successful cooperation with Rugby World Cup 2019

Rugby supporters donated more than £2 million as a consequence of the relationship with RWC 2019, and more than 55,000 kids from all around the world were given the chance to play the sport.

The money earned by the RWC Sevens 2022 collaboration will go toward supporting ChildFund Rugby programs in Africa, especially those that promote gender equality and the game’s core principles.

It was said when World Rugby unveiled its Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030 in January that the governing body had a responsibility to take effective action to prevent climate change.

The RWC Sevens 2022 is expected to be South Africa’s greenest rugby tournament to date, with plastic garbage produced during the competition being repurposed to construct affordable homes.

In a trial effort, South Africa Rugby utilized the Springboks’ test match against Wales earlier this year. Plastic debris, including some previously thought to be non-recyclable, was collected and turned into pellets that were used to make bricks.

Last week, members of the Blitzboks and Springboks Women’s Sevens teams visited the Breaking New Ground Homes initiative, which makes use of the novel bricks to construct homes, and traded in their rugby gear for hard helmets.

“It is fantastic to see recommendations from World Rugby’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030 being put in to practice by South Africa’s men’s and women’s sevens players in this innovative project to help build accessible homes using plastic,” said Alan Gilpin, Chief Executive Officer of World Rugby.

“The players’ efforts will no likely prompt a great number of people to pay attention and act positively, protecting the environment so that future generations may continue to enjoy playing rugby in a safe environment.”


Fans visiting the Rugby World Cup Sevens will notice green plastic trash bags with the label “the bag that builds” all throughout DHL Stadium for the collection of all plastic waste, along with additional initiatives to minimize single-use plastics and packaging.

The garbage is transformed into a “eco-aggregate” named RESIN8 at a unique facility. The created RESIN8 is then included into the mix design for casting traditional concrete blocks, eliminating all plastic waste and using up to 20% less traditional quarry-sourced materials.

The Springbok test match generated 398 bags, which resulted in 875kg of plastic garbage, yielding 3,500 bricks. Each building requires 1,200 bricks per unit (or almost three houses).

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, stated, “This is a truly interesting concept that we successfully trialed in July, and to watch that plastic garbage ascend up housing is extremely thrilling.”

“Rugby is not oblivious to its responsibilities. Everyone has a duty to protect the environment for future generations. If you plan to attend the event, please keep an eye out for the green collection bags since every item you drop off reduces the likelihood that another piece of plastic will wind up in a landfill or even the ocean.

In addition, free fan transportation on the MyCity bus system and park-and-ride programs will be implemented as part of RWC Sevens 2022, as will the utilization of wind farms’ renewable energy, rainwater collecting, and kit collection for post-tournament distribution.

As the host union uses the showcase tournament to increase rugby participation in the region, a Get into Sevens initiative will also be launched.

Fans may participate and show their support by using the United Nations carbon footprint calculator to estimate their own carbon footprint and take actions to decrease it, whether they physically attend the event at DHL Stadium or participate virtually.

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