The FA roll out ambitious net zero strategy


The FA launches sustainability strategy Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Football Association (FA) (UK) launched on July 6th a new five-year sustainability strategy, setting out its plan to make a positive impact on the environment and the communities in which they serve.

‘The FA’ stated that the new strategy titled ‘Playing for the Future’ will drive forward The FA’s environmental ambitions until 2028, and will ensure that they continue to be a role model in shaping a positive football future for all.

London (UK)-based The Football Association (FA) is the governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

‘The FA’ further stated that the strategy has been created through extensive consultation with a wide range of football stakeholders and environmental experts, and focuses on three core areas:

1) Shoot for Net Zero – fight climate change and reduce emissions

  • Achieve net zero status by 2040;
  • Invest over £35m to deliver the 2040 ambition; and
  • Work towards reducing CO2 e emissions 50 percent by 2030 from a 2019 baseline, reducing electricity consumption by 30 percent by 2028 from a 2019 baseline and reducing gas consumption by 20 percent by 2028 from a 2019 baseline.

2) Save Our Resources – optimize resource consumption

  • Reduce resource consumption across the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in Wembley, London, and the St. George’s Park in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, and embed more sustainable practices across the organization;
  • Minimize impact of waste through procurement choices, avoiding waste, identifying reuse opportunities and maximizing recyclability;
  • Reduce water consumption by 30 percent by 2028 from a 2019 baseline; and
  • Protect biodiversity across all The FA venues – animals, wildlife, plants, and micro-organisms.

3) Make An Impact – deliver and govern change across football

  • As the governing body of English football, The FA is in a unique position to drive wider environmental and societal change across clubs, leagues and with partners;
  • The FA will create the operational framework to embed this strategy across the whole organization, including its facilities, and increase awareness and environmental sustainability practises across football, whilst governing and supporting wider change; and
  • The strategy will also ensure that The FA partners are aligned and committed to the sustainability ambitions.

The launch of this new sustainability strategy builds on the extensive work across Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park to drive operational sustainability efforts, particularly around waste, food and energy. The strategy will be reviewed every two years and further updates will be provided in due course.

Said Mark Bullingham, The FA’s Chief Executive, “The climate crisis presents one of the most significant challenges of our lifetime, and we are determined to play our part in inspiring positive and meaningful change. Through our new five-year commitment, we want to make tangible progress through our own sustainability initiatives, while raising awareness and bringing the wider football community with us on this journey. We look forward to working with the leagues, clubs, County FAs, and our partners to harness the unique power of football so that together we can have a beneficial impact on the planet and a positive influence for the future generations.”

Stated Ruaidhri Dunn, The FA’s Head of Procurement and Sustainability, “We are delighted to launch our new five-year Playing for the Future sustainability strategy during the Net Zero Week, which sets out our clear direction of travel to drive positive change for the environment. We are very proud of our achievements in recent years to become more environmentally-friendly, including the Wembley Stadium being awarded the highest standard of sustainability by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), however, we want to make further progress. Our new strategy focuses on a number of key areas including reducing emissions, optimizing resource consumption, plus governing and supporting wider change across football – and we look forward to driving forward with the next phase of our sustainability efforts.”

Geneva (Switzerland)-based the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) started in 1947 as an independent, non-Governmental membership organization. The ISO has one common goal: Standardizing best practises for the organizational management systems, designed for continuous improvement.

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