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Green machine: Bayern Munich bus to Champions League away game vs FC Viktoria Plzeň

The Bayern bus is coming, and everybody’s jumping.

Bayern München Travel To Villarreal For The UEFA Champions League Photo by M. Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

From Bavaria to Plzeň — Bayern Munich are on a mission. The road from Säbener Straße to Bayern’s camp for the Champions League away fixture against the Czech champions is only around 190 miles by bus, and that’s how Julian Nagelsmann and his team are making the trip:

As the bird flies? Well, there won’t be any of that this time.

As anthropogenic climate change comes more into focus, the carbon footprints of sporting and other entertainment enterprises has come under increasing scrutiny. A recent DW feature looked at methods of travel by different Bundesliga clubs to their away games — in the wake of PSG star Kylian Mbappé scoffing at the very notion of not flying. And to be sure, it’s not only the clubs themselves, as DW explains:

The Bundesliga is a league that has plenty of innovative climate-friendly ideas, including carbon-zero stadiums, solar-panels and even an on-site well so as to reduce water consumption.

Though many fans also do their best to protect the environment, their footprint is still considerable. According to a 2020 study conducted by the climate advisory agency C02OL on behalf of German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, football fans produce around 7,800 tons of harmful emissions per matchday. Much has been made of the emissions generated by fans’ traveling, so what about the clubs themselves?

Still, discretionary air travel — particularly privately-chartered planes — leaves a significant carbon footprint. Bayern weren’t included in the above article, while clubs like Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Bochum declared a policy of flying only in “exceptional cases.”

This time, Bayern are keeping the party on the ground. The wheels of steel are turning, a little less carbon is burning — and, just maybe, there’ll be Champions League qualification happiness just around the corner!

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