Sustainable Saints: Marching on towards a greener future

By SFC Media time Fri 05 Jun Club
Photo by James Bridle

With today marking World Environment Day, Southampton Football Club has outlined some of the initiatives the club has introduced aimed at reducing its impact on the environment.

We officially announced our Saints Sustainability drive back in August last year and we’ve not only introduced a number of green initiatives across the club, but have also produced a detailed strategy that sets out a clear vision with achievable goals we can continue working towards.

We’re introducing a culture of saving energy, reducing waste and ensuring it’s recycled properly, phasing out single-use plastics and, overall, supporting our fans to make positive changes too.

We know that as a Premier League football club and a significant part of the community, we have the influence to lead the way, with our supporters and staff onboard to help us. As part of our social responsibility to the city which supports us, we’ve made a commitment to lead by example and help make the city a cleaner and more sustainable place to live for both now and in future generations.

Led by our passionate Saints Sustainability Group, we’re evaluating and assessing energy use across every aspect of the football club to gauge our current carbon footprint, and this has been key in highlighting where we currently stand and what we need to improve on.

What’s been done so far?

Waste

• We’ve increased recycling rates, and our waste management provider will now be sending ‘zero waste to landfill’ from our sites.
• We’ve introduced a reusable cup scheme on our St Mary’s concourses as part of the SKY Ocean Rescue and Premier League ‘Pass on Plastic’ initiative to play our part in making huge reductions in single-use plastic use and disposal.
• We’ve changed our water bottle provider to ‘ONE WATER’ which are made from 100% recycled material and are 100% recyclable.
• We’ve partnered up with a new catering provider who only uses locally-sourced produce and suppliers.

Energy

• We’ve switched to 100% renewable ‘green’ energy, which has resulted in a huge reduction in carbon emissions across our sites.
• We’re currently installing LED lighting upgrades across our sites as part of our building management schedule, with a commitment to eliminate the use of all non-LED lighting by 2023.
• We’ve upgraded the St Mary's Stadium pitch floodlights to LED lights.

Emissions/carbon footprint

• We’ve replaced several lawnmowers and hedge trimmers from fuel-powered to electric versions. This is an ongoing project with the plan to fully replace all plant and equipment with environmentally-sustainable versions.
• We’ve conducted a review of our Matchday Travel Plan with sustainability as a prime focus.
• We’ve upgraded our operational fleet of minibuses to lower-emission models.

Education and engagement

• We’re a founding signatory of Southampton City Council's ‘Green City Charter’, pledging to support the city’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2030. Our club Sustainability Strategy and Policy sits alongside this pledge to enable us to have maximum impact.

What’s on the way?

• We’ve made a commitment to replace all our company vehicles to either hybrid, electrical or other non-petrol fuelled.
• We’re enhancing our biodiversity and ecosystem enhancement at Staplewood with the introduction of a multitude of log piles to encourage new habitats, wildflower planting, untouched grass and hedgerow areas to provide a considerable benefit to wildlife.
• We’ll also be launching our very own ‘Home Grown’ initiative this year, which will involve a number of tree-planting projects across the training ground, local community and Saints Foundation community project sites in the city.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be focusing on each of the initiatives above and more in greater detail to provide you and our fans with information on all the great things we are doing.

We’ll also be constantly assessing the impact these projects, and the many more we have in the pipeline, are having on the environment, football club and our local community.

We are a proud football club with fantastic staff and supporters, and this is a huge project that marks a big step for us moving forward.

Together, we have the opportunity to make positive changes that will make us more sustainable for generations to come.

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