The world’s first carbon-neutral football club | CNBC Sports

The world’s first carbon-neutral football club | CNBC Sports


Far away from the super stadiums of Barcelona’s
Nou Camp and Wembley Stadium in London, here you’ll find soccer
being done ‘Another Way.’ The New Lawn is home to Forest Green Rovers,
officially the world’s greenest football club. Located in the tiny town of Nailsworth
in Gloucestershire, England, Forest Green play in the fourth
tier of English football and are the smallest club to ever
play in the professional leagues. But they’re top of the table when it
comes to being carbon-neutral, as now recognized by FIFA
and the United Nations. And there’s clear, clean energy
evidence all around the ground. Solar panels?
Check. Wind turbine?
Yep. Electric car charging points?
Got that too. And even a robot gardener who looks after
the world’s only organic, vegan football pitch. It’s all electric, and it’s GPS-mapped
so you can track where it goes. And it’s all fed off the solar panels
on the top of the south stand. I think it only uses 1.4% of the solar panels,
which is about £50 of electricity a year. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it saves me
six to eight hours a week in work. Away from the pitch,
the club is totally vegan. And its food has the seal of
approval from the Vegan Society. A lot of it’s not actually greasy because it’s not
meat, but it still gives that vibe of football food, what people like to just munch on
when they’re watching the game. Fans heading here to New Lawn on a match day don’t
get the chance to have a meat pie or greasy hamburger. Instead, it’s a far healthier football feast. The players as well have been
embracing the dietary requirements and even buying into the idea that it
could boost their performances. I’ve got a lot more energy. I recover
quicker which is of utmost importance because we’re in full-time training,
and my stamina’s improved. Well I’m used to it now. I’ve been here for two years,
and I’ve had the best two years of my career. On and off the pitch I’ve
been feeling really good. I suppose a lot of it’s to do with the
football club and the way it’s run. It’s a vision that comes from one of
soccer’s most unique chairmen. Self-confessed former-hippie, turned
clean energy millionaire, Dale Vince. Today 30% of Britain’s energy comes from
renewable energy already, that’s increasing. Electric cars are on the verge of taking over the roads,
and veganism has become a really popular thing. And this football club has all of those elements in it,
and it’s a great vehicle for getting the message out. Vince is also the founder and owner of
clean energy company Ecotricity, which is where the football club
gets 100% of its power from. It’s all straightforward stuff,
like single-use plastics. We just looked at the containers that
we have for coffee, for example. And we found some that have
a cornstarch liner instead of plastic that we could recycle ourselves in a compost heap.
So we made the change to no single-use plastics. The UN’s Climate Neutral Now scheme wants
to use Forest Green as the blueprint for other sports organizations to follow, and there’s
a belief that its recognition will prompt change. The actions to implement are rather easy these
days. It’s easy to do it. It just takes a decision. We see that sports organizations of
all types and sizes are now very aware of the potential that
they have to influence others, and they have an impact also
on environment and climate. So we hope that the Forest Green Rovers will be
a nice example of how and what they could do. There is other evidence that teams are
starting to make greener changes too. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers have pledged
a commitment to 100% renewable power. Premier League soccer
teams Arsenal and Newcastle aim to run their stadiums
completely from renewable energy. And plastic straws were banned from
Wimbledon’s tennis championships in 2018, switching to paper ones to go
with that classic glass of Pimms. The ambition for this club is to move up
through England’s football divisions. With their ultimate goal to take their
eco-friendly message to the next level, and move into the world’s first
purpose-built all-wooden stadium. Hi guys, Adam here.
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