When it comes to championing sustainability and highlighting climate change, the Desert Vipers cricket team are not just walking the talk – they are also drinking the drink.
Thanks to a partnership with Bluewater, the Vipers – a franchise that plays in the UAE’s own Twenty20 league, the DP World ILT20 – has jettisoned plastic water bottles in favour of a far more environmentally friendly option.
Gone from the dugout area at all Desert Vipers matches are the tall refrigerators containing single-use plastic bottles so common across the cricketing landscape.
In their place are state-of-the-art water filtration units provided by Bluewater, who have become the Vipers’ Official Hydration Partner and also a Sustainability Impact Partner.
The units, which will be present next to the Vipers dugouts at all three venues – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah – during the tournament, feature warming stripes that visualise the rise in global temperatures since 1850, based on data from a range of expert sources, and work by Professor Ed Hawkins, a Professor of Climate Science at Reading University in the United Kingdom who added: “The world is warming, mainly due to burning fossil fuels. The warming stripes highlight the rapid change in global temperatures and will help start important conversations about the risks from climate change amongst cricket fans across the world.”
More information about the Stripes can be found here.
The players and staff have all been provided with reusable and refillable stainless-steel bottles from which to consume the water.
Commenting on the partnership with Bluewater, Desert Vipers Chief Executive Officer Phil Oliver said: “The issues of sustainability and climate change are central to all we stand for at the Desert Vipers and, with that in mind, we knew that our championing these issues that are fundamental to the planet was incompatible with our players and staff obtaining drinks from single-use plastic bottles.
"We are delighted to have found a solution through this partnership with Bluewater and we look forward to working with them throughout the tournament.
“We are grateful to the management of the DP World ILT20 for their support in allowing us to implement this innovation and we are proud to be trailblazers in this regard.
“We look forward, too, to other teams following our lead in the future by joining us in recognising the need to bowl out single-use plastic bottles.”
Bluewater has previously worked with a number of sporting events and venues including the 150th Open Championship golf tournament at St Andrews in Scotland and Formula E, the electric car racing series.
Details of Bluewater can be found here.
Commenting on the partnership, David Noble, the Chief Communications Officer for Bluewater, said: “We could not be happier to be joining forces with the Desert Vipers.
“Bluewater and the Desert Vipers share a core belief in the importance of sustainability and that is writ large in this partnership.
“Bluewater believes purified drinking water should be produced locally at the point of consumption and that owning and using high-quality refillable bottles is one of the most impactful changes any individual can make towards reducing plastic waste.
“Through this agreement, the Desert Vipers will be acting as role models to the countless people around the world who will see what they are doing in this regard, and we are proud to be playing our part to help them spread the message.
“The water issued by the water filtration units we are providing is cleaned by a reverse osmosis system, the gold standard when it comes to purifying the water of all known contaminants ranging from pharmaceutical residues to chemicals and toxic metals.
“So, the Desert Vipers will be not only setting the standard when it comes to sustainability but they will also be receiving water of the highest quality too.”
The partnership with Bluewater is the latest step by the Desert Vipers on the journey towards achieving the goal of a net-zero carbon footprint.
The franchise became the first Dubai-based sports organisation to sign up to the UN Sports for Climate Action initiative, committing to reducing its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2030 and to that net zero goal by 2040.
The Vipers have already partnered with the UK-based Bat For A Chance to ensure that all the squad’s unused and used kit and equipment from season two of the DP World ILT20 will go to people around the globe who need it.
And the franchise has also agreed a two-year partnership with The Plastic Pledge, an organisation founded by UAE-based environmentalist and adventurer Toby Gregory that seeks to address the issue of plastic pollution by advocating and promoting behavioural changes among individuals and companies.