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Forest Green Rovers rank top of English Football League clubs as most environmentally friendly

Sport Positive Leagues has collated a large cross section of information on the environmental sustainability efforts of EFL clubs, releasing it on Wednesday via the Sport Positive Leagues EFL 2022 Matrix

Bristol City, Forest Green Rovers and Rochdale
Image: Forest Green Rovers top the Sport Positive Leagues EFL 2022 Matrix

Forest Green Rovers have underlined their status as "the greenest football club in the world" after a new study released on the environmental sustainability efforts of English Football League clubs.

Sport Positive Leagues has collated a large cross section of information and ranked clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two into one overall matrix.

League One club Forest Green Rovers takes first place in both their division and the combined league, with a perfect score, showing their holistic commitment to environmental sustainability through every part of the organisation.

League One graphic

Which clubs are the most environmentally sustainable?

  • Championship: Bristol City (1st), Norwich City (2nd), Watford (3rd
  • League One: Forest Green Rovers (1st), Plymouth Argyle (2nd), Charlton Athletic (3rd)
  • League Two: Rochdale (Joint 1 st), Crewe Alexandra (Joint 1st) and Grimsby Town (3rd)

Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince said: "It's great to see the extent to which sustainability in football has become a thing, almost but not yet - an accepted part of the game.

"Ten years ago we were a lone voice with a radical idea, today it's fast becoming normal, not just in English football but internationally too - and indeed the whole world of sport.

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In the latest episode of Playing for the Planet, Brentford's Ben Mee explains how he is doing his bit to tackle climate change and has a go at racing around Silverstone in an electric car

"Football clubs have the same responsibility as everyone else to take care of their impact on the world - but we also have a unique opportunity, few others have - a platform from which to inform and influence billions of people. That's happening now."

Bristol City took top spot in the Championship, beating off Norwich and Watford across categories including clean energy, single-use plastic reduction, energy efficiency and biodiversity.

Also See:

What is environmental sustainability?

Environmental sustainability is the ability to maintain an ecological balance in our planet's natural environment and conserve natural resources to support the wellbeing of current and future generations.

Plymouth Argyle make up the overall top five across the three divisions while Rochdale have been revealed as the best-performing League Two club, narrowly pipping Crewe Alexandra.

Bristol City director Gavin Marshall said: "We're pleased to be among the clubs leading change across football.

How are clubs evaluated in Sport Positive Leagues Matrix?

  • Commitment and policy
  • Clean energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainable transport
  • Waste management
  • Single use plastic reduction/removal
  • Water efficiency
  • Availability of low-carbon/plant based food
  • Biodiversity, education and communications/engagement.

"We recognise that we have an impact and are working hard to mitigate that across a number of key areas. Sport clearly has a long way to go but it feels like clubs are finally waking up to the challenge."

In regard to the work that clubs are doing in this space, Sport Positive founder Claire Poole said: "Across all three divisions there are great examples of leadership from many EFL clubs, we congratulate those clubs for their efforts towards a sustainable future.

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Bristol City join more than 79 other clubs in signing up for 'The Green Football Weekend', an initiative which encourages clubs and fans to take climate-friendly actions

"For those clubs that aren't as far ahead, we hope that the publication of this information raises awareness, and that support and progress continues apace. The EFL's Green Clubs scheme has provided a framework for clubs to build upon and develop alongside their own initiatives.

"Football provides such an incredible platform to drive collective action in tackling the climate crisis, and as the recent IPCC report highlighted, we are running out of time - but the power is in our hands."

Six EFL clubs declined to take part in the review - Swansea City, Middlesbrough, Luton Town, Harrogate Town, Blackburn and Portsmouth.

Sky Sports: Committed to Net Zero

Climate change is threatening sport. This year, Sky Zero and Sky Sports are continuing to help fans take action against the climate crisis so there is always a place to play.

We hope that by using the power of sport, we can inspire and support football fans to make simple changes to reduce their carbon footprint and make more climate-friendly choices.

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