Southampton Football Club has introduced a number of green initiatives aimed at reducing its impact on the environment.
With more awareness than ever around the positive steps the population needs to take regarding the future of our planet, Saints are actively looking to embed sustainability into all aspects of the club.
We want to introduce a culture of saving energy, reducing waste, phasing out single-use plastics, ensuring our waste is recycled properly, and, overall, supporting our fans to make positive changes.
We know that as a Premier League football club and a significant part of the community, that we have the influence to lead the way, especially with you, our supporters, onboard to help us.
Passionate about driving change, we’ve formed Saints Sustainability, a group of staff from across the club who are passionate about making positive change, and they’ve been responsible for many of the initiatives we’re delighted to share with you.
We’ve signed up to Southampton City Council’s Green City Charter, where local businesses pledge to do their bit in order to make the city a cleaner, greener, healthier and a more attractive place to live, work and visit.
The charter aims to address some of the most challenging environmental issues facing the city – such as recycling and transport – as it bids to be carbon neutral by 2030.
We’ve begun reducing single-use plastics across the club. As initial steps, we have removed all plastic straws and cutlery from our sites.
We’ve also started to remove drinks contained in plastic bottles from St Mary’s and are currently in the process of reducing the use of plastic water bottles from our training ground.
At Staplewood, we get through a huge number of plastic bottles among staff and players, so we need to significantly reduce this.
To help, we’ve introduced hydration stations, which have been installed across Staplewood, and have issued our staff and players with stainless-steel drinks bottles.
We continue to have conversations with food suppliers on reducing the amount of packaging, with some positive results already, and we no longer offer disposable coffee cups, which can’t be recycled due to a plastic inner coating, introducing reusable ones instead.
We are carrying out a review of our energy use and waste management contractors to look at where we can make improvements and work more efficiently. We are also considering introducing systems that will help us reduce and monitor the amount of electricity, gas and water we use.
Our grounds staff have swapped a number of petrol lawnmowers for electric ones, which will not only reduce pollution, but save us money too.
Managing Director Toby Steele said: “We are committed to working with staff and supporters to introduce a culture of saving energy, reducing waste, phasing out plastics, ensuring our waste is recycled properly, and, overall, reducing our carbon footprint.
“We know that, as a Premier League football club, we have a fantastic opportunity to set an example and make a real difference.”
We need the help of our supporters on matchdays…
The club’s focus isn’t just on what can be done behind the scenes during the week – it also wants to make changes on matchday too.
With thousands of fans attending home games, and with huge amounts of waste generated, we will be introducing re-usable pint cups on the concourse and in our new Fanzone to help reduce our use of single use plastics. We will also be serving draught beer, cider and lagers so we can avoid using plastic bottles.
This cost is not being passed onto supporters; we just ask they drop their cups in our clearly marked designated bins located around the stadium. These can then be collected, washed and reused.
By taking this simple action, we can save more than 36,000 plastic cups going to landfill each season.
“We understand that becoming a more environmentally friendly football club is a big culture change and will take time to embed, but we are passionate, committed and determined to make positive changes,” Toby Steele added.
“We would like to ask our supporters to join us on our journey to become a more environmentally friendly football club and support us in what we are trying to achieve, especially on matchdays.
“Together, we have an opportunity to make exciting changes, and help turn Southampton FC into a leading sustainable football club.”
More details on how supporters can get involved in Saints’ sustainability journey and the changes we are introducing on the concourse will be available over the coming weeks.