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World First: Hydrogen Powered Touch Rugby World Cup

The England Touch Association will be setting a new standard for large sporting events this July, thanks to a unique partnership with GeoPura which will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the 2024 Touch World Cup by 6.6 tonnes.

An event of the scale of the 2024 Touch World Cup – 23 fields spread across two venues for seven days – would normally require the use of diesel generators to supplement mains electricity supply. 

Unlike a traditional generator, however, GeoPura’s green hydrogen generators are fuelled by pure hydrogen gas, which has been created with renewable energy. The only exhaust from these generators is water vapour, meaning no harmful carbon dioxide, particulates or other pollutants are emitted.

GeoPura calculates that the carbon dioxide reduction for the Touch World Cup is the equivalent of driving an average car around the world*, and with the hydrogen itself being produced in the Midlands, there will be a minimal carbon footprint in the transportation to the University of Nottingham, too.

This innovation has been made possible by event partners, HyDEX, Energy Research Accelerator, Mapei, and Vermeer, who are all committed to using research and innovation to accelerate the UK on the road to net zero energy production.

The 2024 Touch World Cup has a number of other sustainability initiatives, including:

  • Extensive travel plan within Nottingham to prioritise coach, bus, tram and active travel to the venues
  • Discouraging the use of single-use plastics by participants, spectators and retailers alike
  • Working with the University of Nottingham on a clear hierarchy of waste management to ensure recycling as much waste as possible
  • Facilitating the donation of used and un-needed sports kit to countries with a need via SOS Kit Aid
  • Exploring a range of food poverty and food re-use opportunities with local charities, where possible
  • Encouraging attendees to calculate their travel-related carbon footprint, and recognising the unavoidable climate impact of an international sporting event by donating to Oxfam’s Tackling Climate Change campaign, which supports communities across the world facing the challenges brought about by climate change. Find out more at

Touch World Cup Event Director, and England Touch Association Chief Executive, Chris Simon, says that sustainability has always been a core pillar within the planning.

“In trying to make this the greenest and most sustainable Touch World Cup ever, we have looked at every aspect of hosting such a large event,” he says. “We needed a solution that meets our sustainability goals as well as being a dependable power source to help the tournament run smoothly.

“Using green hydrogen technology is an exciting opportunity to showcase what is possible at a major sporting event which is welcoming thousands of participants from across the globe, and we hope that we can be an exemplar for the sports sector within Sport England’s Every Move strategy.

“The University of Nottingham has also been an important partner for our efforts, delivering an enhanced waste management plan and facilitating additional provision from Lime E-Bikes across campus and competition venues.

“Sustainability is more than just environmental impact, and we are delighted to be focusing on social impact, too, such as with SOS Kit Aid, exploring food re-use options with local charities, and promoting fundraising for Oxfam’s Tackling Climate Change campaign.”

The England Touch Association has been advised on its sustainability strategy by 600 strategy Ltd, whose Chief Progress Officer, David Cope, added: “Sport is hugely important for many people, but is under threat from a rapidly changing climate.

“The commitment shown by the Touch World Cup organisers to adopting sustainable solutions is inspiring. At 600 strategy, we believe that everyone has a role to play in addressing the climate crisis, and we’re looking forward to encouraging everyone who participates in and spectates at the World Cup to play their part, too.”

Andrew Cunningham, CEO of GeoPura, said: "As the CEO of GeoPura, I’m incredibly proud to support the Touch World Cup by providing zero-emission power through our green hydrogen technology. By eliminating the use of diesel generators at the event, the Touch World Cup are not only significantly reducing carbon emissions but are also improving local air quality and safeguarding the health of athletes, visitors, and the local community by preventing harmful pollutants from being released into the atmosphere. The only emission is water!  

“Being founded in Nottingham and having close ties with the University of Nottingham, it’s particularly meaningful for us to contribute to such an innovative and environmentally conscious event right here in our region. We applaud the Touch World Cup organisers for their dedication to delivering an environmentally conscious event and we’re looking forward to working with the event team and its partners to deliver a truly sustainable tournament on a global stage."

Faye McAnulla, Programme Director for the Energy Research Accelerator and HyDEX, added: “We are proud to be sponsoring the hydrogen power solution for the Touch World Cup (TWC) in Nottingham.

 “It is vitally important that global sporting events such as the TWC do all that they can to be sustainable and a major part of that is to power the event through green energy.

“We’re delighted to support Geopura’s green hydrogen generator, which will provide clean power for the World Cup. GeoPura is a great innovative local company that we have worked closely with through our HyDEX hydrogen development programme. 

“I hope that other sports and concert organisers look at the novel way that the TWC is powering itself through hydrogen, and realise that there is now a clean, green, cost-effective alternative to fossil-fuel powered generators.”

“Mapei UK Ltd, a world leading manufacturer in construction products, is delighted to be sponsoring the Touch Rugby World Cup this summer,” commented Mapei Marketing and Communications Manager, Charley Everiss. “Mapei’s heritage with sport and a long-standing commitment to providing cutting edge solutions for a sustainable future align perfectly with the tournament and we look forward to working with the England Touch Association to adopt an Environmental Event Sustainability Policy.”

About GeoPura

GeoPura was founded to help source enough clean energy to electrify the global economy and navigate the logistical issues of getting this energy to where it is needed.

The GeoPura solution uses renewable energy, normally solar PV or wind, to create hydrogen and hydrogen-based zero emission fuels. This fuel is then transported to locations where a local generator converts it to electrical power. From start to finish the process is clean and carbon-free – the only by-product is pure water.

To find out more head to

* Calculated as 6,630 kgCO2 avoided emissions from GeoPura. Average UK car in 2023 estimated emissions of 132 gCO2 per km. Avoided emissions = 6,630,000 gCO2, divided by 132gCO2 = 50,227 km worth of avoided car travel. Circumference of Earth is 40,000 km

Other partners

To find out more about HyDEX visit

To find out more about Energy Research Accelerator visit

To find out more about Mapei visit

To find out more about Vermeer visit

To find out more about SOS Kit Aid visit

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