MCC launch ambitious sustainability goals



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Lords Cricket Ground launches net zero carbon strategy Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) (UK) recently announced the ambitious objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2040.

‘LORD’S’ stated that the launch of a Net Zero Carbon Strategy will see various projects across the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, England (UK) helping to achieve this target, as well as innovative tools like the Fan Footprint Calculator being launched.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, which it owns, in St John’s Wood, London (UK). The club was formerly the governing body of cricket retaining considerable global influence.

The 31,100-capacity Lord’s Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord’s, is a cricket venue in St John’s Wood, London (UK). Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and is the home of the Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the European Cricket Council (ECC) and, until August 2005, the International Cricket Council (ICC). Lord’s is widely referred to as the ‘Home of Cricket’ and is home to the world’s oldest sporting museum.

The Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of 18 first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales (UK). It represents the historic county of Middlesex which has effectively been subsumed within the ceremonial county of Greater London.

London (UK)-based the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the national governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was formed on January 1st, 1997 as a single governing body to combine the roles formerly fulfilled by the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council.

The European Cricket Council (ECC) is an international body which oversaw cricket in European countries other than the Test-playing cricketing nation of England, the only European Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the duration of the ECC’s existence. The ECC was brought under the auspices of the ICC Development Programme as ICC Europe in 2008, and later dissolved as an independent body.

Dubai (UAE)-based the International Cricket Council (ICC) is the global governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa. It was renamed as the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1987.

‘LORD’S’ further stated that the strategy – ‘A Journey to Net Zero Carbon’ – sets out an ambitious program of measures and targets which will lead to the club becoming Net Zero by 2040, if not earlier, as it continues to be a leading voice and influence within cricket amid the response to the threats posed to the future of the sport by climate change.

The club aims to become Net Zero through a range of measures, including undertaking a significant program of degasification at Lord’s, and switching the use of remaining natural gas in the operation of the venue to renewable energy sources.

The Fan Footprint Calculator has been introduced which is a free online platform which will allow fans, visitors to Lord’s, the MCC Members and the MCC staff to understand and measure their current carbon footprint and reduce their own emissions, as well as make pledges to cut their emissions going forward.

The MCC has a longstanding commitment to sustainability. In 2009, it became the first UK sports venue to appoint a full-time Sustainability Manager, publishing its first sustainability policy shortly after. In October 2022, it signed up for the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, which aims to support and guide sports clubs and bodies in achieving global climate change goals.

As a venue, Lord’s has introduced a number of sustainability measures to reduce its carbon footprint in recent years. It has been operating on 100 percent renewable electricity since 2016, with all electricity sourced from wind power, and since 2010 has sent zero waste to landfill.

Recognizing the huge impact that climate change is having on cricket globally, including an increase in the number of rain affected matches, changes to how pitches are managed, damage to facilities and the impact on players and spectators of extreme heat, the MCC is also continuing to be an industry leader on sustainability in cricket, acting as a leading voice on environmental issues and how they impact cricket and sport more widely.

Earlier in the Summer, and ahead of the second LV= Insurance Men’s Test match between England and Australia at Lord’s, the MCC’s World Cricket Committee hosted a meeting at Lord’s where members of the Committee were joined by the Australia Men’s Cricket Team Captain and environmental sustainability advocate Pat Cummins, and received a presentation from the MCC Sustainability and Accessibility Manager Stuart Dunlop on the club’s emerging Net Zero Carbon Strategy.

The strategy and the key targets set out within it will be measured and monitored by NetScope, a leading and industry recognized software reporting tool. The Net Zero Carbon Strategy and tool was developed in partnership with the leading sustainability consultants, Net Zero Group.

Commented Eoin Morgan, former England Captain and MCC World Cricket Committee Member, “Climate change is one the biggest issues facing our sport and our planet, so it is vital that the MCC, as the guardian of the global game, continues to lead the debate in this area and this strategy is a step in that direction. Sport, and society more broadly, needs to do more to combat the huge threat posed by climate change and in my role as a member of the MCC World Cricket Committee, I’m keen to play whatever part I can to help shape and influence the debate in our sport. It was fascinating to hear the views of Pat Cummins at our recent meeting at Lord’s and we need more voices like Pat’s if we are to truly understand and address the threats posed to cricket by climate change.”

Added Stuart Dunlop, MCC Sustainability and Accessibility Manager, “A Journey to Net Zero Carbon marks the next chapter in a long sustainability journey for MCC, and the club recognizes that a lot of work will need to go into implementing it. Whilst, as a club, we have already made a lot of progress in terms of decarbonization, this strategy is necessary and vital for us to determine an exact blueprint of the steps required to reach our net zero targets. Engaging our staff, the members and supporters who visit Lord’s is an important part of that process and journey.”

Said Mark Hammond, Net Zero Group Managing Director, “The Net Zero Group is proud to support MCC on their journey to Net Zero and applaud the club’s commitment to not only track and reduce the emissions of MCC but also leverage their audience and raise carbon awareness amongst fans. Our carbon consulting and software expertise will help the ‘Home of Cricket’ continue their transformation into a leading international sustainability venue and set the standard for sporting organizations to create a low carbon culture.”

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