English Football League side Forest Green Rovers has become the first football club in the world to be certified as carbon neutral by the United Nations.
The SkyBet League Two club, which previously hit the headlines as the world’s first vegan football club, has signed up to the UNFCCC Climate Neutral Now initiative for the upcoming season.
The project commits participating institutions to measuring, reducing and compensating for their greenhouse gas emissions.
Forest Green Rovers, which has also been named by FIFA as “the greenest football club in the world,” already boasts 100% green energy supply through the Ecotricity firm founded by club chairman Dale Vince.
Other carbon-friendly features include an organic pitch, rainwater recycling systems and electric car charging points in spectator car parks.
Commenting on the landmark accreditation, Vince said: “It’s a real honour to be the very first sports club in the world to be named carbon neutral by the UN. We’re a small club with big ambitions, and it’s fantastic we can work together to champion the sustainability message worldwide.
“It’s great to be first, but I believe it’s only a matter of time before the big boys like Real Madrid, Man United and the San Francisco 49ers follow our example. I’m personally looking forward to working more with the UN to help spread the word about the environment through football.”
Miguel Naranjo, UNFCCC programme officer in sustainable development mechanisms, added: “For us it’s great, we’re really glad to have Forest Green Rovers on board because it’s an excellent example of the things that you can do right. So getting the club on board means we can transmit that message to other participants and potential participants.
“The beauty about Forest Green Rovers is that it’s a small organisation, with not a massive budget and still it’s doing so much to address the environmental footprint. So if FGR can do it, anyone can do it as well.”
Forest Green Rovers was founded in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, in 1889. The club, whose nicknames include “The Green”, was promoted to the English Football League for the first time in its history at the end of the 2016-17 season.
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