Source: ABN Amro
ABN AMRO has announced plans to collect as many used tennis balls as possible during the next few weeks, for recycling as a new and sustainable brand of tennis ball: the Sustainaball.
It calls on visitors of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (WTT) to hand in their old tennis balls at the tournament. Tennis balls can also be handed in at any of the 28 tennis clubs in the Netherlands that support the initiative. The Sustainaball initiative reflects ABN AMRO’s sustainability strategy as it seeks to accelerate society’s transition towards greater sustainability and inclusiveness. The strategy encompasses a wide range of sustainability and social projects, including ABN AMRO’s role as a sponsor of various sports. For example, as the main sponsor of the WTT, ABN AMRO has entered into a three-year agreement with Rotterdam Ahoy to make the tennis tournament even more sustainable.
ABN AMRO wishes to take on the role of a game changer in the transition to a sustainable and inclusive society, leading by example. It does this in various ways, such as by sponsoring sports and various social initiatives. “The bank wants to work with clients and partners to play a leading role in sustainability and to accelerate the development of a circular economy,” explains Ernst Boekhorst, ABN AMRO’s Brand, Sponsoring & Foundation Manager. “We’ve joined forces with Rotterdam Ahoy to make the WTT even more sustainable, with initiatives across three domains: hospitality, mobility and circularity. For example, starting in 2021 we’ll work together with Dutch railway operator NS and Rotterdam’s public transport company RET to encourage visitors to travel to the tournament by public transport rather than by car. We also offer a wide choice of vegetarian food options, and we’re working with SUEZ to separate waste. We recently renewed the partnership for another three years, and we’ll add new sustainability measures.”
‘Sustainaball’: a second life for tennis balls
For the upcoming WTT - to take place in Rotterdam Ahoy from 8 to 16 February - ABN AMRO has issued a call for everyone to give their old tennis balls a new lease on life. Special containers will be placed around Ahoy, where visitors can deposit their used tennis balls, or they can be handed in at any of the 28 participating tennis clubs across the country. For the recycling, ABN AMRO has made arrangements with Agricon Nederland BV, which will upcycle the old tennis balls to produce Sustainaballs. The current initiative follows a similar initiative by ABN AMRO last year, when it collected used tennis balls to build a Playground for the Krajicek Foundation, in which the bank is a partner. This year will also see a repeat of the Tennis Experience, in which 450 kids from primary schools in Rotterdam (years 5 and 6) will have the chance before, during and after the WTT to get to know about tennis. They will follow classes to learn skills linked to the sport, attend clinics and watch a match. The schools have been selected with input from education fund Jeugd Educatie Fonds, to teach tennis to children from disadvantaged backgrounds or home situations that prevent them from playing sports.
Seminar on sustainability
ABN AMRO and several of its WTT partners will also hold a seminar on sustainability on Monday, 10 February, under the title ‘Sustainaball’. The seminar will be hosted by the Green Connection, a partnership between ABN AMRO, Sigma Coatings Nederland, DHL, Rotterdam Marriott Hotel, Achmea, Peugeot Netherlands and Rotterdam Ahoy. The event will consist of a plenary programme, followed by separate inspiration sessions by each of the partners. ABN AMRO will host a session where Global Sustainability Advisor Jan Raes will present examples of how the bank is helping clients to improve the sustainability of their operations.
Various sport sponsorships
The sponsorship of the WTT is part of ABN AMRO’s wider sponsorship strategy. The bank works with the clubs it sponsors to identify opportunities for improving sustainability. ABN AMRO’s focus also extends to improving diversity and inclusiveness in sport.