With less than 500 days to go until the start of Birmingham 2022, organisers of the event have announced plans to deliver the first ever carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games.

In order to achieve the environmental landmark, plans include creating 72 new urban forests in the West Midlands and a further 2,022 acres of woodland.

Severn Trent has become the Official Nature and Carbon-Neutral Supporter of Birmingham 2022, and will be responsible for delivering a series of initiatives that help offset the carbon generated by the Commonwealth Games.

The initiatives include the creation of 2022 acres of forest, as well as 72 tennis-court-sized mini forests, to be built in urban areas across the West Midlands.

The event’s organisers said each mini forest will be linked to one of the nations and territories competing at the Commonwealth Games in 2022. The 2022 acres of forest, intended to be based in the West Midlands, will feature native species.

Commonwealth Games Federation president Dame Louise Martin said Birmingham 2022’s plan to stage the first ever carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games reinforces a commitment to ensure that the Games leaves a positive social and environmental legacy for generations to come.

She said, “This will set a long-term blueprint for future Commonwealth Games that will make our event a global leader when it comes to staging sustainable, environmentally-sound sporting competition.”