Sustainability schemes are catching on with football clubs as they are in the case with corporate businesses. As more and more clubs entertain the idea of going green, it is quite evident that this ‘beautiful sport’ of ours is not all that beautiful.
It is moderately astonishing to recognize that almost every stadium in the world has had huge ecological impact on the planet, especially as the geeks continue to argue over the proximity of our world being hit with global warming.
Water for the pitches, under-pitch heating, using high-power lighting rigs to encourage grass growth with Arsenal being the foremost culprit here, electricity demands to keep the floodlights and video screens running and the scoreboards ticking are some of the examples of how football is laying a footprint promoting global warming.
On the positive end, certain clubs have introduced assured measures to cut costs from both environmental and financial aspects. Manchester City for example, use eco-friendly paper for their match-day programs and have promoted safe walking routes for the fans, eventually lowering the strain on public transport.
Stadiums in Germany like the Stadion Nurnberg and The Mercedes-Benz Arena rejuvenate their pitches with rainwater collected using cisterns and occasionally use the same to rinse toilets hence reducing waste.
And similar measures have been observed by lesser dominating clubs throughout Europe wherein we see solar panels installed on top of Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Berne, home of BSC Young Boys in Switzerland to automated floodlights that turn off when no one is training at the grounds of Rosenborg BK.
The minor clubs as well are doing their bit in an effort to save the planet. Forest Green Rovers playing in the lower levels of Conference in England are apparently the “greenest football club on the planet”.
With a capacity of ~ 4,000 people, they have got it all: No red meat, GPS controlled solar-powered lawnmower, Water recollection system, Solar panels, Windmills and Electric cars.
Even In regions with parched climates where the toll to maintain a pitch is considerable, the notion of implementing artificial turf’s of high quality is gaining steam.
It will be a few more generations till we see stadiums being built keeping the very environment it relies on, in mind. However, one thing is certain. As the collapse of heavy spending and financial restrictions in the sport takes its due form, it will be a little more climate-friendly at least.