Over the last few months we all will have seen stories in the news about how we need to act against climate change, but does football have a role to play?
Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust Board member, Richard Lewis. went along to a talk by League Two’s Forest Green Rovers FC to find out more.
With Dale Vince – owner of the electricity company ‘Ecotricity’ – as a major shareholder and chairman, the Cotswolds-based club was recently described by FIFA as ‘the greenest football club in the world’.
Forest Green Rovers FC has ‘greening up football’ as its ethos, and it demonstrates this to its players, staff, fans, visiting-supporters, and local community through a range of environmentally friendly projects looking at food, transport and energy.
First up are the vegan burgers, served in sugar cane containers and washed down with refreshments in compostable cups.
Fellow Trust members Phil Nifield and David Craig watched Rovers’ recent match against Plymouth Argyle. David said: “My three visits to an FGR home game are memorable for the hot spicy and more importantly healthy vegan burgers I had.
“The visits were also memorable for the high level of the football played although on every occasion FGR lost! I am thinking of staying away but the draw of the vegan burger is too strong. Let’s hope that FGR beat Carlisle in their FA Cup Replay and they will come to Cardiff for the FA Cup 3rd round bringing carloads of those famous burgers with them. Perhaps we can adopt themas we did with Chasetown………as brothers and sisters in football with a few burgers thrown in, of course.”
The club’s car park has charging points for electric vehicles, and the playing squad have road-tested the NissanLeaf electric car. Fans who are keen gardeners will notice the green spaces around the stadium, alongside an organically grown pitch.As you would expect given the club’s owners, the stadium gets its power from green electricity and recycled water.
These are just some of the innovative things happening at the ‘Green Devils’, with other highlights being eco-paint for pitch-markings, a 50% bamboo playing-kit, and an alternative range of corporate sponsors to the type of companies currently supporting many of our football clubs.
Off the pitch, Rovers and their fans are benefiting from an academy programme and community trust, with exciting plans for a new 10,000-seater stadium off the M5, and the pursuit of promotion, of course!
Your Cardiff City Supporters Trust is keen to hear your views on how green you think are the Bluebirds, andif there are environmental improvements which you would like to see in and around the stadium? Please get in touch and let us know: email@example.com / @CCFC1927. We plan to discuss ideas with Cardiff City FC over the coming months.