Southampton F.C. tree boulevard initiative


Southampton FC planting trees Image: Southampton FC

Premier League team Southampton F.C. (UK) is going ‘Green’ and according top priority to sustainability what with environment and climate change being a hot-button topic these days.

A news release sent out by the top-flight club stated that the ‘Green thumbs’ have started planting trees as part of their ‘Home Grown Initiative’, with the Redbridge Community School (in Hampshire, South of England) receiving 1,000 trees to mark the first team debuts of Kegs Chauke, Ryan Finnigan, Alex Jankewitz and Caleb Watts – all midfielders for Southampton F.C.

Southampton Football Club is an English professional football club based in Southampton, Hampshire (UK), which plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The 32,505-capacity St Mary’s Stadium serves as their residence.

The ‘Home Grown Initiative’ was launched in January this year as part of ‘The Halo Effect’, the club’s sustainability strategy, as part of which the club has to plant 250 trees in the local area for every Academy graduate that makes their first team debut for ‘the Saints’, thus helping to offset the club’s carbon footprints.

As part of the first phase of planting, 1,000 tree saplings have been planted at Redbridge Community School and a further 250 saplings have been planted at the club’s Staplewood training complex to mark Dan Nlundulu’s debut earlier this season who plays as a forward for the club.

Apart from planting saplings in and around Southampton, another 1,250 saplings are being preserved abroad in tandem with Carbon Footprint as part of their tree buddy scheme, ensuring the club offsets 1,250 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The club worked in conjunction with the Green City Charter and Southampton City Council to identify Redbridge Community School, a member of Saints Foundation’s Community Champions program, as the recipient for over 1,000 saplings.

It will be a kind of tree boulevard at the school’s perimeter, helping to absorb noise pollution and carbon emissions, while also providing greater privacy to the children and giving a shot in the arm to the school’s outdoor environment and biodiversity.

Ground staff from Southampton F.C. also visited the school to teach the students as to how important it is to plant trees, as well as discussing both the benefits of biodiversity and the positive impact the trees will have on the school.

Gushed Caroline Carlin, Southampton Football Club’s Operational Standards and Compliance Manager, “We are absolutely delighted to bring ‘The Halo Effect’ to life through the ‘Home Grown Initiative’ with the planting of these trees at Redbridge School. Alongside Southampton City Council’s Green City Charter, our environmental commitment is to help make Southampton a cleaner, greener, healthier, and more sustainable City. We are really pleased to be working towards that goal by planting these young saplings in celebration of our academy debutants.”

Enthused Kate Martin, Executive Director, Southampton City Council, “We are delighted that Southampton Football Club have planted these trees as part of their ‘Home Grown Initiative’. We are hugely encouraged they have created the initiative to support their sustainability strategy, the ‘Halo Effect’. It’s important everyone works together to reduce our impact on the environment and we are seeing more and more businesses, individuals and community groups joining forces to make a difference. We look forward to working with Southampton Football Club to ensure we address the challenges that climate change presents us and we welcome more residents and businesses to pledge support to our Green City Charter available online.”

Added Martin Brain, Saints Foundation’s Community Champion at Redbridge Community School, “We are delighted to support the ‘Home Grown Initiative’ here at Redbridge Community School. Planting the trees at our school will provide the students with a long-lasting reminder of the importance of looking after the environment, and the impact that their actions can make.”

Brain concluded by stating, “Being personally involved in the planting of the trees really helps make our students feel part of the initiative and has inspired them to continue to act with environmental responsibility throughout their lives.”

‘Home Grown Initiative’

In January 2021, Southampton Football Club launched the ‘Home Grown Initiative’, combining the club’s commitment to environmental sustainability with its strategy of developing world class talent on the pitch.

For every Academy player that makes their First Team debut, the club will plant 250 trees, with a commitment to offsetting over 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next four years.

The ‘Home Grown Initiative’ is part of Southampton’s sustainability strategy, ‘The Halo Effect’, coming under the club’s environmental responsibilities.

‘The Halo Effect’

‘The Halo Effect’ is a commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for the club, its fans and the community on which their venue sits, the news release concluded.

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