Scottish Gas-Rugby zero emissions plans


Scottish Rugby partnership Image: Scottish Rugby

Scottish Gas, part of Centrica, the largest home energy supplier in the United Kingdom, has partnered with Scottish Rugby to help the rugby community across Scotland reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

‘SCOTTISH RUGBY’ stated that the deal will involve more than 130 active clubs in all five playing regions of Scotland and could reduce energy consumption by over 50 percent. The partnership is set to act as a catalyst for all communities to start transforming their buildings into healthier, more comfortable, more resilient places to work and play on the journey to zero-emissions.

England (UK)-based British Gas (trading as Scottish Gas in Scotland) is an energy and home services provider in the United Kingdom. It is the trading name of British Gas Services Limited and British Gas New Heating Limited, both subsidiaries of Centrica. Serving around 12 million homes in the United Kingdom, British Gas is the biggest energy supplier in the country and is considered one of the Big Six dominating the gas and electricity market in the United Kingdom.

Centrica plc is a British multinational energy and services company with its headquarters in Windsor, Berkshire (UK). Its principal activity is the supply of electricity and gas to consumers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Scotland men’s national rugby union team represents Scotland in men’s international rugby union and is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship, where they are the current Calcutta Cup holders.

The Six Nations Championship is an annual international men’s rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. The current champions are Ireland, who won the 2023 tournament.

The Calcutta Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the rugby match between England and Scotland played annually in the Six Nations Championship.

‘SCOTTISH RUGBY’ further stated that a central initiative of the partnership is a £2 million joint investment in the Club and Community Net Zero Fund across the five-year deal. The clubs will receive free tailored energy efficiency advice and access grants from the fund to help pay for improvements. The Scottish Gas will use Scotland’s largest clubhouse, Murrayfield, as a leading example by providing expert support and advice in order to identify and potentially fund future energy efficiency infrastructure projects.

And it’s not just the nation’s 47,000 rugby players that will benefit – by working directly with the clubs, the partnership aims to engage communities across Scotland to deliver on the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions for 2045.

Championing Scotland Women

The deal will support all areas of the game, including the Women’s game through shirt sponsorship for the Scotland Women’s squad as they begin preparations for the new WXV tournament later this year, as well as supporting age grade squads within the women’s development pathway.

Hive, the United Kingdom’s leading smart energy platform, will become the naming partner for Edinburgh Rugby’s home, where both they and Scotland Women play domestic fixtures, which will become the Hive Stadium.

The Edinburgh Rugby is one of the two professional rugby union teams from Scotland. The club competes in the United Rugby Championship, along with the Glasgow Warriors, its oldest rival. Edinburgh plays the majority of its home games at the Edinburgh Rugby Stadium.

The Murrayfield Stadium (known as the Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium for sponsorship reasons, or popularly as Murrayfield) is a rugby stadium located in the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh, Scotland (UK). It has a seating capacity of 67,144 making it the largest stadium in Scotland and the fifth largest in the United Kingdom.

In addition, Scottish Gas will become naming partners of the Murrayfield Stadium and provide a decarbonization plan and greener energy supply for the entire Murrayfield Estate from solar, wind, hydro power, and biogas. Starting with the upcoming international match when Scotland plays Italy on July 29th, the stadium’s official name will be ‘Scottish Gas Murrayfield’.

Said Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica, owner of Scottish Gas, “By partnering with Scottish Rugby, we are supporting communities across Scotland to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills, supporting the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions. Our Club and Community Net Zero Fund gives clubs a much-needed boost, making rugby greener as a sport and freeing up more resources to develop the grass roots game. We are particularly excited about our partnership with Scotland Women.”

The Scotland women’s national rugby union team represents Scotland in women’s international rugby union and is governed by the Scottish Rugby Union. The team competes in the annual Women’s Six National Championship and has competed in five of the Women’s Rugby World Cups since their hosted debut in 1994.

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive Mark Dodson hailed the deal as “ground-breaking for our sport and a significant boost to the organization’s ambitions around the ESG agenda (environmental, social, and governance) to make a real contribution to creating a greener, cleaner and healthier Scotland, where we can look to the future with increasing confidence. Scottish Rugby is starting out on an important journey towards becoming even more energy-efficient and is ready to take on its responsibility and play its part in the country’s transition to a lower-carbon future. This deal is, therefore, important in both a sporting and societal context. Unquestionably, it helps to future-proof rugby in Scotland for the next generation through significant investment and also the contribution and impact Scottish Gas will be having within our community clubs. Our vision, at the time of cost-of-living challenges for clubs and households, is to provide meaningful support and funding to clubs and communities throughout Scotland.”

Added Dodson, “This partnership with Scottish Gas will help accelerate our ESG strategy and implementation as we work to fulfill our ultimate ambition: To become a leading global rugby union in the path towards sustainability. We are looking forward to working with Scottish Gas and welcoming them into our family of principal partners, alongside BT (British multinational telecommunications holding company), Macron (Italian sporting apparel company) and Peter Vardy (motor retail company in the United Kingdom).”

Stated Mairi McAllan, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, “The race to net zero is one that we must all win. It will continue to be driven by the Government, but it cannot happen without all of us – individuals, communities and businesses – taking steps as part of a national effort to tackle the climate emergency. The sporting sector has a significant role to play within this and I welcome the leadership shown by Scottish Rugby and Scottish Gas in setting up this initiative. It’s not only great to hear plans for the home of Scottish rugby to be decarbonized, rugby clubs are an important part of our communities right across Scotland and this partnership therefore offers very exciting opportunities for thousands of people to play their part in increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs.”

Stated Jamie Farndale, Scottish Rugby’s Sustainability Ambassador and current GB 7s player, “The scale of the challenge of getting to net zero by 2045 is huge. I believe sport has a big role to play and can use its platform to support people in lowering their carbon footprints. This partnership, working with the local clubs, is a perfect way in which Scottish Rugby can act as a trusted messenger and have a positive impact in communities throughout Scotland.”

The Great Britain national rugby sevens team is the men’s international rugby 7s team that is the representative team of Great Britain. The team competes in the annual World Rugby Sevens Series as well as the Olympic Games and the European Games.

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