Three South West clubs have been named among the most environmentally sustainable in the football league Sport Positive Leagues
Gloucestershire-based Forest Green Rovers have finished top of a table which ranks the 72 EFL clubs based on how eco-friendly their operations and policies are.
League One side Forest Green scored a maximum 24 points in a study conducted by sustainability experts Sport Positive Leagues, which calculated performance in categories such as use of clean energy, sustainable transport, waste management, and the availability of low-carbon or plant based food.
The Nailsworth outfit, has previously been recognised by the sport’s governing body FIFA and the United Nations for its planet-conscious practices, which include a vegan match day menu, and the use of technology that converts away fans’ urine into water and fertiliser for the pitch at is ground The New Lawn.
Work is also underway on the club’s new 5,000 capacity stadium, which will be built almost entirely out of wood.
The Green finished just in front of Championship side Bristol City, in what was the first time list Sport Positive Leagues has compiled that attempts to rank all of the clubs from the English professional games second, third and fourth tiers.
Hard on the heels of the BBC story about Premier League clubs flying to most away games in England, comes this new initiative from Sport Positive,they’ve been ranking PL clubs for a few years now and have just extended that work to the EFL for the first time. @FGRFC_Official pic.twitter.com/euHMht7JBv
— Dale Vince (@DaleVince)
The Robins are a signatory of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and have committed to halving their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, and achieving ‘net zero’ by 2040.
Also in the top five were League One side Plymouth Argyle, with Bristol Rovers further down the list were Bristol Rovers in joint-21st, Swindon Town in joint-29th.
Around 20 clubs, including Cheltenham Town and Exeter City, either did not share or verify publicly available information used by the research, or refused to take part in the review.
Forest Green chairman Dale Vince, the founder of Stroud-based green energy firm Ecotricity, said: “It’s great to see the extent to which sustainability in football has become a thing, almost but not yet – an accepted part of the game.
“Ten years ago we were a lone voice with a radical idea, today it’s fast becoming normal, not just in English football but internationally too – and indeed the whole world of sport. Football clubs have the same responsibility as everyone else to take care of their impact on the world – but we also have a unique opportunity, few others have – a platform from which to inform and influence billions of people. That’s happening now.”
Bristol City’s club director Gavin Marshall added: “We’re pleased to be among the clubs leading change across football. We recognise that we have an impact and are working hard to mitigate that across a number of key areas. Sport clearly has a long way to go but it feels like clubs are finally waking up to the challenge.”
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