A truly sustainable football club

We’re at the forefront of something new at Forest Green Rovers.

We’re bringing together football and environmental consciousness in a way no other football club in the world is doing right now. And it’s working.

FIFA have described us as the greenest football club in the world. We’re the first and only vegan football club in the world. And we’re also the first club on the planet to be certified carbon neutral by the United Nations.

We see a great opportunity to create a truly sustainable football club – somewhere we can demonstrate sustainable thinking and technology to a new and passionate audience.

Here are some of the awesome things we’re doing to make us the greenest football club in the world:

  • Green energy – the entire club is powered by 100% green electricity and carbon neutral gas from Ecotricity, some of which we generate ourselves with the solar panels on our stadium roof and the solar tracker at the ground entrance
  • Organic pitch – even the grass we play on is sustainable, free from pesticides and herbicides
  • Electric ‘mow-bot’ – we cut the grass with a GPS-directed electric lawnmower, powered by energy harnessed from the sun
  • Saving water – we collect rainwater from beneath the pitch to use for pitch irrigation so we don’t have to use mains water
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging points – we recommend sustainable travel to all games, and even provide EV chargepoints from The Electric Highway
  • The world’s first vegan football club we offer freshly made vegan food to all players, staff and fans, which is great for the environment, health and performance, and tastes pretty good too.

We’ve been measuring our carbon footprint at FGR since 2011 as part of our Environmental Management System. It helps us to identify which areas of the club we can look at next for improvements, and we’re doing pretty well. This season has been in no means typical, with the outbreak of Covid19 and the cancellation of games in the latter part of the year we’ve seen reductions in emissions that we couldn’t have possibly predicted a year ago. In addition to this in September we switched to a carbon neutral gas tariff which has drastically reduced our energy related emissions Overall this year we’ve seen reductions in the amount of electric that we use drop by 18% and gas by a whopping 70%! Overall, even with the additional water required for irrigation during a long dry spring we’ve reduced our carbon footprint by 53% compared to last season.

 2018/19 emissions (Tonnes)2019/20 emissions (Tonnes)
Transport Coach2.96.6
Transport Pool Vehicles33.918.25

Through this ground-breaking work at FGR Dale has been made a Climate Champion for the United Nations and we’ve now completed our third year as a signatory to their Climate Neutral Now pledge as well as being founder members of the Sports for Climate Action Framework. As part of our work in this area the UN have named us as the world’s first UN certified carbon-neutral football club!

Once things start to return to a new normal  if you visit us here at The New Lawn, you can also take some time before the match to follow our Eco Trail around the stadium, and you can see for yourself why FGR has been crowned the greenest club in the world.

You can read more about our environmental policy here.