When we think of sustainability, many things come to mind, such as how we as individuals can live more sustainably or how the food, clothing, or other commercial industries can implement sustainable practices into their business models. But it should not stop there. Sustainable practices are relevant in almost every part of modern-day life, including on the soccer field.
These three professional soccer clubs are raising the bar for a new, environmentally conscious era of soccer. They are at the forefront of bringing sustainability to the sport in unexpected and inventive ways.
Forest Green Rovers Football Club
This English soccer club is fighting wasteful fast fashion by outfitting their players in uniforms made of recycled coffee bean waste. These uniforms are an upgrade from Rovers’ previous sustainable clothing material of choice, bamboo. That’s because a waste product is even more sustainable than sourcing new, renewable resources such as bamboo. The team is even committed to keeping uniforms for longer before replacing them, further reducing the waste of clothing manufacture.
In addition to supporting sustainable clothing practices, the Rovers match-day food is vegan, the lawn is organic and irrigated with recycled water, and the electricity is powered by renewable energy. It’s no surprise that FIFA has dubbed them “the world’s greenest football club.”
Arsenal Football Club
Arsenal soccer club has become the first of the Premier League to commit to the United Nation’s climate initiative. They’ve already switched to 100% renewable energy, installed a water-recycling system to reuse water that comes off the field, encourage the use of reusable cups at their stadium, and have planted 29,000 trees around their training center. The club and its players hope to use their platform to advocate for climate action to their supporters and fans.
South Hampton Football Club
South Hampton Football Club is leading its sustainability mission with the goal to give back more than they take from the environment. They have already switched to 100% renewable energy in both the stadium and training grounds. They have upgraded their lighting with energy-efficient LED lights and have installed timers for all lighting and heaters to avoid unnecessary energy waste. Moving forward, they aim to replace all vehicles with hybrid or electric ones. To reduce plastic pollution, they will encourage fans to bring reusable bottles, replace plastic cutlery with wooden cutlery, and offer plant-based/ low-carbon food in kiosks.