Lotteries and the Environment: Past, Present and Future

September 27, 2022
5 min read

In June 2022, the European Lotteries Environmental Initiative was launched. This initiative aims to create a space for EL members to come together and collaborate on Environmental Impact. Lotteries are invited to commit to two specific environmental actions: using paper from certified sustainable paper supplies across their operations and value chain and monitoring and reducing their Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). EL Members are invited to share their practices, from experienced Lotteries to those at the beginning of their positive environmental impact journey. As said by the EL Secretary General, Arjan van't Veer, at the EL/WLA RG/CSR Conference in Amsterdam in September 2022, “Doing this together, collaboratively, creates extra value”, as it allows the industry to act and demonstrate their commitment to benefiting society. 

How we act concerning our Environmental Impact has never been more critical or urgent. After a summer characterised by the highest temperatures on record in Europe, the impending problem we face has never been more apparent. The Lottery industry must see its part to play in the way that we as a society combat climate change and then act accordingly. Within an industry that has previously seen environmental policies as an add-on to an RG-focused sustainability programme, this change could not be coming sooner. Notably, a recent study from the EL CSR-RG Working Group, presented at the RG/CSR conference by Stefania Colombo and Gianmario Trovò, showed that 26% of the 51 Lotteries surveyed in 2022 already had an environmental policy, 69% used FSC/PEFC paper in their operations, and 42% calculated their GHG emissions. This is a promising starting block upon which EL members can build and measure their progress over the coming years.

Some EL Members are already demonstrating their commitment to the environment. At the Conference, Susanna Saikkonen shared how Veikkaus Oy is Decarbonising its Games. Veikkaus understands that its digital platform is not just an integral part of its operations but also a significant contributor to its carbon footprint. These emissions are created by the electricity used to run infrastructure and data transfer, as well as from manufacturing physical devices. As a company, they have planned to move to a carbon neutral data centre, collect data about the energy usage of this centre, have CO2 targets in procurement requirements, optimise the lifecycle of their hardware, test environment running time optimisation and use green coding, among other commitments. Decarbonising games is an under-researched issue within the whole gaming industry, which must be tackled if a true impact is to be made. 

Another company showing its commitment to the Environment is IGT Italy. One of the key elements of this, as highlighted by Riccardo Trioiani in his presentation, is the Science Based Targets the company has set aligned with SBTi. These are targets aligned with science to ensure they contribute to limiting global warming to 1.5c. IGT, in early 2022, committed to both short-term and long-term GHG emissions targets, including a 50% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. IGT also shows their commitment through their points of sale, for example deploying about 18,000 scratch stations made of recyclable plexiglass and developing digital signage solutions to communicate product news and winnings to players. 

The Lottery industry should also take inspiration from other industries. For example, sustainability policies do not have to be over complicated multiple-page documents with complex language and terms. Instead, as shown by Jan-Willem Vosmeer from Heineken, they can be simple enough to be written on the back of a coaster and easily understood by all stakeholders. Furthermore, Heineken is now using all-electric vehicles to deliver its beer around Amsterdam. Noted to be the first of its kind, the beer tank, manufactured by Duotank, can hold up to 3,000 litres, and the battery has a capacity of 82.8 kWh. Many lotteries with a retail network will face similar emissions challenges with their delivery fleet; this innovation could be used to inspire a new perspective on transportation. 

What does the future look like? All EL lotteries are invited to commit to the Voluntary Initiative, whatever their level of expertise and experience. This should be used as a resource to inspire and promote change through best practice sharing. Tools exist to help lotteries begin this journey, such as the Carbon Calculator on’s website, designed to measure Lottery operations' carbon emissions. However, most importantly, action should be taken now; if not, it will be too late to curb climate change.


Our core belief is that all National Lotteries should do their part in providing an equitable solution for society and the environment. This starts with understanding, planning, and acting on those beliefs. is a digital platform that saves you time. Our proven process takes lotteries from assessment to achieving any ESG, CSR, Responsible Gaming & sustainability certification easily and well. Sustainability is a journey. However, there is no need to reinvent the wheel to be the most effective. aims to make your sustainability journey as impactful and efficient as it can be.