Are Forest Green Rovers FC the greenest football club in the world?

If you are a football fan, this could be the reason to go green this summer.

Forest Green Rovers Football Club (FGR FC) are one of a small handful of football clubs which are actively trying to reform the image of their club by adapting their approach sustainability.

Bayern Munich of Bavaria, Germany have long followed some eco standards, using the same technology as the Forest Green Rovers for their pitch, but the Forest Green Rovers have taken it to a new level and have since become internationally renowned for their efforts.

Changes began in 2010 when Dale Vince became the major shareholder in the club; having surely caught the eco bug, the club has since achieved 7 huge environmental actions, and are currently planning to complete 7 more. Efforts include the use of an automatic lawn mowing ‘Mobot’ from Tesla, photo voltaic solar panels, irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting, enabling them to soon be independent from the water mains.

The club have also attracted a lot of attention by taking red meat off of the menu; this quickly followed by going completely meat free, also helping to adjust attitudes of the footballers by presenting a path to achieving a healthier lifestyle inside and outside the walls of the club. Defender Aarran Racine claims “it is a bit of a shock to some, but you get used to it – I have done anyway, I like it”.

In 2012 the Forest Green Rovers achieved the gold standard for environmental performance from the Eco-Management and Audit-Scheme (EMAS) which of course struck the need to adapt the colour of the kit to their green image…rightly so!

FGR.pngPicture taken from website.

Dale Vince, founder of ‘ecotricity’ and the electric highways, is the master mind behind all of this eco action; Vince hopes that by spreading the eco message within the football world, it will enhance the clubs’ reputation and influence others to go green.

In hopes to impact the local economy, Vince has had each member of the squad driving a Nissan leaf with the FC’s logo to raise awareness about the club and their cause and has extended a helping hand to support other green gannets by installing an on-site charging point for electric and hybrid cars, ensuring fans are able to drive and park at the club without worrying about running out of charge.

The future for Forest Green Rovers, is also looking a bright shade of green, with plans in place to build an eco-venue similar to that of their ‘Green Britain Centre’ in Norfolk and if the team win against Bristol Rovers, Vince wants the team to go vegan, he claims that as the club claims more victories, the team will attract further attention thus increasing their duty of care.

As the club opens its gates to the local public for learning purposes, Vince hopes that the linked efforts of the club and the footballers will entice younger visitors, from schools to be inspired by and follow the footsteps of local stars and role models.

See their full environmental mission: https://www.forestgreenroversfc.com/about-forest-green-rovers/ecotricity-and-forest-green-rovers/greening-up-football

Sports teams are only just adjusting to the changes in the environment, however systems are being put in place to support this shift; Sport England have even dedicate part of their website to enabling clubs to calculate their carbon footprints! Check it out: http://www.sustainableclubs.co.uk/energy-calculator/

It’s great to see sports clubs taking initiative to create a positive impact, and is a giant step towards a greener future.

Written by Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner – Rebecca Mason

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Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day was born out of the Environmental movement that began in the 1970’s;  and the celebration is now in it’s the 46th year and is growing with each passing celebration.

The movement began as a reaction to a huge oil spill in Santa Barbara which shook the world. Before this movement, thinking about the consequences that our actions might have on the environment was not commonplace. As we continued to guzzle fuel and consume at our own conveniences, this has unfortunately, over time resulted in serious consequences.

Scientists around the world have been carrying out research to get to grips with the weight of the issue and the problems we face; their research has provided devastating outcomes, proving the huge impact long term actions have led to.

Our mass consumption and need for materials has depleted forests and land; due to tree felling and commercial/ residential building, resulting in the displacement, extinction and endangering of thousands of species of animals around the world. Our unabated use of fossil fuels has also created a ‘greenhouse effect’, brought about by the build-up of gases such as methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) at an unmanageable rate, subsequently leading to Global Warming and the accelerated rise in sea levels.

Although this information arose years ago, our reactions have been slow; it has only been in recent years that we have seen change in our thoughts towards the environmental issues. Last year the Paris Climate Summit marked a step towards change for many, but is it really enough…? In order to make change happen nationally and worldwide, we must tackle these issues on a personal, community based and local level.

Today, many around the world are getting stuck in to do their bit to help their environments and raise awareness. You can find out where this is happening closest to you, and get involved by clicking here.

If you’re in Leicester, you can do your bit by joining Leicester’s annual earth day clean-up, on April 24th from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. where they will be meeting at the Town common to get stuck in! http://keepmassbeautiful.org/event/leicester-annual-earth-day-clean/

We’ve compiled a list of 10 top tips for you to do to keep your carbon footprint at an all time low and become part of the growing movement!

  1. Leave lights off
  2. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
  3. Donate to charity
  4. Shop Fairtrade, local, seasonal, organic and unpackaged
  5. Go meat free
  6. Re use your shopping bags
  7. Donate to charity
  8. Walk/ bike to work
  9. Make sure your coffee is Fairtrade or part of the rainforest alliance and use a reusable cup
  10. Keep electricals off and unplugged, but if you must stay online, go paperless

Remember these tips can be used everyday, long term! If you are looking for more information about how to keep your carbon footprint low, FOR GOOD, check out this great website http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/