A striking example of corporate social responsibility
Every Saturday across the length and breadth of the country, directors, players and supporters travel by numerous means to watch one of the EFL league games, but at what cost to the environment?
Football in this country is hugely popular both at grassroots, semi professional and in the professional game. It is the most watched and participated sport in this country, attracting both media and commercial attention and bringing in billions of pounds to local economies throughout the season.
This week (11/10/2021) the EFL have taken significant steps to fight the climate crisis by launching a league-wide initiative that will offer support to its 72 members (football clubs) to reduce their environmental impact via a benchmarking and development scheme delivered by the environmental specialists at GreenCode.
At OJI marketing, we are avid football fans and strongly believe in corporate social responsibility – business for good – strategic charity and community partnerships – sustainable and environment practices, so for us this makes complete sense.
Reading about the EFL initiative and the sustainability investment some football clubs have already made, like Forest Green Rovers, along with the steps they have taken and environmental practices they have adopted is inspiring.
- ECO Park. They are building an Eco Park constructed from wood, which not only locks up carbon but has the lowest carbon footprint of any major building material. The stadium will have on-site solar generation and will be powered by energy from the wind and sun supplied by Ecotricity.
- Pitches. Their pitches will be organic
- Catering. They only serve vegan food
- Shirts. Their shirts are made from coffee grounds and recyclable plastic
- EV Charging. Ample charge points for electric vehicles will be available
- Accessibility. Good walking, cycling and public transport access is part of the plan
- Outside space: 500 trees and 1.8km of hedgerows, along with meadows surrounding the stadium
Forest Green Rovers became the world’s first UN-certified carbon-neutral club in 2018. They were also named the ‘world’s greenest football club’ by FIFA in 2017.
But, for an environmental initiative on this scale to work effectively has to become part of the organisation’s ethos. It has to be lived and breathed. From the top to the bottom, from one corner of the business to the other. Crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. It is definitely not as simple as saying you adhere to environmental practices, you have to believe in it and actually do it across every element of the business.
So, well done Forest Green Rovers. This is no mean feat. You have set a great example. Hopefully, the EFL initiative takes off and other football clubs, as well as other businesses from other industries will follow in your footsteps.