Bristol City Leads in Eco-Friendly Football: GreenCode Accreditation

In the world of football, Bristol City has taken a pioneering step towards sustainability by becoming the very first club to earn GreenCode Accreditation in the EFL Green Clubs scheme. This remarkable achievement underscores their dedication to environmental responsibility. In this blog post, we delve into the details of this achievement and what it means for both Bristol City and the broader football community.

GreenCode: Setting the Environmental Standard

GreenCode, an environmental accreditation company, plays a pivotal role in assessing clubs on 26 stringent environmental and sustainability criteria. To secure the coveted GreenCode Accreditation, clubs must amass a minimum of 76 points. Bristol City’s commitment to sustainability shone through as they scored an impressive 80 points during a recent audit, making them the trailblazers in this initiative.

EFL Green Clubs: A Comprehensive Approach

The EFL Green Clubs scheme is all about enhancing environmental operations within football clubs. It begins with an in-depth assessment of club operations, paving the way for tailored guidance and practical advice. Bristol City’s success highlights the tangible benefits of this holistic approach to sustainability.

Leading the Way: Bristol City and Forest Green Rovers

Bristol City’s achievement is even more noteworthy because they are the first club to attain GreenCode Accreditation since the launch of the EFL Green Clubs Scheme in 2021. While they lead the way in this regard, Forest Green Rovers, renowned as one of the greenest clubs in football, have consistently maintained the GreenCode standard since the scheme’s inception.

Project Whitebeam: A Sustainable Collective Effort

Behind Bristol City’s success lies a groundbreaking sustainability initiative called Project Whitebeam. This collaborative venture involves Bristol City, Bristol Bears, Bristol Flyers, Ashton Gate Stadium, and Bristol Sport. Their common goal is to acknowledge, quantify, and mitigate their environmental impact.

A crucial part of Project Whitebeam is the commitment to the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework. This commitment includes ambitious Race to Zero targets, aiming to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero status by 2040.

Ashton Gate Stadium: An Eco-Friendly Haven

Ashton Gate Stadium, a key player in Project Whitebeam, serves as a shining example of eco-friendly stadium operations. Solar panels now generate over 100,000 kWh of electricity, energy-efficient lighting brightens the facility, water-saving devices are in place, and the stadium boasts a zero-waste-to-landfill policy.

Sustainable Concessions and Community Support

The commitment to sustainability extends to the food and drink served at Ashton Gate Stadium. Over 50% of these offerings are sourced from within a 12-mile radius. Moreover, vegetarian and vegan options are available at all concessions, reducing the carbon footprint associated with food production.

What’s heartwarming is the surplus matchday food that finds its way to a women’s homeless shelter less than a mile away. For away games, club staff members go the extra mile by delivering food from the team hotel to shelters and refuges in the local areas of the opponent city.

Reducing the Carbon Footprint: Subsidized Bus Travel

Bristol City has also significantly reduced the carbon footprint of supporters traveling to the stadium through subsidized bus travel options. This not only makes matchdays more accessible but also aligns with the club’s commitment to sustainability.

Fans’ Impact: Pledgeball League Victors

The club’s fans have not been left out of the sustainability equation. They’ve clinched the Pledgeball League for the second consecutive year, showcasing their individual sustainability efforts and passion for the environment.

Recognition and Awards

Bristol City’s environmental endeavors have not gone unnoticed. In 2023, they received the prestigious title of EFL Green Club of the Year. They also earned the Football Supporters’ Association Climate Action Award and were ranked as the Championship’s most sustainable club by Sport Positive. These accolades underscore the club’s leadership in football sustainability.

Leadership Voices on Sustainability

Peter Smith, Head of Change and Sustainability at Ashton Gate, expressed his delight at the GreenCode accreditation, emphasizing the positive impact it brings to clubs, communities, and the environment. Bristol Sport CEO Gavin Marshall also expressed pride in this achievement, highlighting its significance as a foundation for continued positive changes.

EFL Chief Executive Trevor Birch lauded the enthusiasm and widespread adoption of the EFL Green Clubs scheme, acknowledging Bristol City’s efforts in improving club operations and making a tangible impact on the environment and local community.

In conclusion, Bristol City’s journey to GreenCode Accreditation is not just a sporting achievement; it’s a testament to their commitment to the environment and sustainability. Their remarkable accomplishments serve as an inspiration for football clubs worldwide, showcasing that sports and sustainability can indeed go hand in hand.

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