Let’s Talk about Sustainable Football Clubs

Football is at its highest participation rate as Football remains far and away the highest participation team sport in the country. However, football clubs, fans, and governing bodies must continue to collaborate and innovate to make the sport more sustainable going forward. From carbon-neutral clubs like Forest Green Rovers and Real Betis to Germany’s transition to reusable cups, the sport is embracing sustainability. Sustainable Football Clubs are the way forward to protect the environment. In this article, we list 5 ways clubs can be more sustainable:

  1. Using green energy
  2. Commitment and Policy
  3. Waste Management
  4. Education
  5. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Using Green Energy:

Football clubs have all sorts of overheads to pay and naturally want to save money if they can. However, Sustainable Football Clubs can be cost-effective and use greener energy for less.  Energy efficiency can therefore be a motivator not just for a team to demonstrate their green credentials, but to save on running costs. An example of this would be having solar panels on stadium roofs and having LED lighting rather than recessed light which costs £0.03 per 6 hours but an LED light costs £0.012 per 6 hours. This will keep the running costs down and make your club greener. An example of this would be Forest Green Rovers which uses photovoltaic solar panels to generate energy, which helps offset the costs that the club has accrued because of going organic.

Sustainable Football Club’s Commitment:

Sustainable Football Clubs need to have strong policies to keep their club abiding by the rules they have set. These policies mean the club can see what they need to achieve to become a sustainable football club. Having a strong policy that hears the needs of both the environment and the people will benefit you hugely. Your club should set out policies that they will aim to reach by a certain time e.g., saying that the club will aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The commitments should include what the club employees will do to achieve the goal. It should also state what the club has previously done to act on the problem. The policy should detail exactly what the club promises to do. One idea would be to break the sections down e.g., travel or recycling. This will help people to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve.

Waste Management:

Measuring the ecological footprint of one FA Cup final football game held at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium showed that a total of 59 tones of waste was generated by supporters and food and drink businesses in Cardiff. This statistic is only from one game, so you imagine the amount of waste you’d get after a full season. Football Clubs waste so much more than any other kind of Sport but there are solutions. Start by understanding what makes up your waste and setting up a waste management scheme. The system must support the applicable waste and environment legislations and ensure that the club is aware of what happens to the waste, after removal from its grounds. Choosing sustainable supply chains will also benefit you. Choosing suppliers that have sustainability in their ethos will make your club’ journey to zero waste much easier.

Educating Football Clubs:

To become a sustainable football club, education must take place. Clubs are no exemption to being advocates for the environment and education is a great way to start. By educating your players on the importance of being green, you can grow your campaign size and increase the number of people aware of the cause. Teaching people sustainable ethos’ enables people to develop the knowledge, values, and skills to participate in decisions about the way the club does things individually and collectively, both globally and locally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future. Clubs could see this opportunity as an excuse to improve the number of people that attend their club as having a strong environmental ethos means people know what you want to achieve.

Recycling at Sustainable Football Clubs:

Major sporting events can generate up to 750,000 plastic bottles apiece, so the pressure is on to clean up the industry and use sport’s global reach to raise awareness among fans. The environment and sports are more closely connected than people think. If we don’t have a healthy environment, then sports will not thrive,” says Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment. The football industry is aiming to change its ways and so can your Football Club.

 An idea to consider is ensuring recycling facilities are provided at the ground and across the site. This should include clearly marked bins for waste segregation and simple communication materials to inform players and staff. You could also work with your waste contractor to understand how recycling rates can be maximised and to confirm that material is being recycled once off-site. For any remaining general waste, ensure your contractor is providing a service which meets the goal of zero waste to landfill.

Protecting the future of Sustainable Football Clubs:

Football Clubs aren’t going anywhere for a while and that means they must adapt to the needs of the environment. It’s a reassuring feeling to see so many Football Clubs do their bit to protect the planet. Some Clubs decide to undergo huge changes to the landscape but with others, the smaller changes are the ones that make the difference.

As the Leading UK insurance broker to the Sports industry, we’re often the first to know when customers are implementing new operations such as solar panels. We understand change can be challenging but it’s the way forward to protect the environment.

Contact Club Insure to learn more about a Football Club Insurance Broker and see our information on Football Club Insurance.