Wolves-Football For Future Green ‘goals’


Wolverhampton partners with Football for Future Image: Molineux Ground, John Nickolls, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Premier League team Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. have joined in partnership with the environmental football non-profit, Football For Future.

The ‘Wolverhampton FC’ stated that the partnership will help fulfill the club’s ambition to become industry leaders in environmental sustainability, and Football For Future’s mission to build a more environmentally sustainable culture in football.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, commonly known as Wolves, is a professional association football club based in Wolverhampton, England (UK). It plays in Premier League, the top level of the English football league system.

The 31,700-capacity Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England (UK) has been the home ground of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. since 1889.

The partnership will include:

  • Development of a clubwide environmental sustainability strategy, underpinned by departmental action plans and including a headline club commitment to environmental sustainability;
  • Staff workshops, covering the interrelationship between football and climate change, and the club’s role mobilizing in response to climate change;
  • A comprehensive review of the club’s environmental footprint and current performance; and
  • A public launch, engaging Wolves fans in the climate conversation.

Said Wolves Facilities, Safety and Security Director, Steve Sutton, “We are delighted to embark upon this project, building upon the many positive steps already undertaken in relation to energy efficiency, renewable energy and recycling. We look forward to establishing a clubwide sustainability strategy, developing our understanding and improving our environmental performance to position Wolves as an industry leader, engaging with fans and stakeholders on this very important issue.”

Stated Football For Future Head of Sustainability and Project Lead, Thom Rawson, “Wolves have shown real commitment to sustainability by engaging in this trailblazing partnership. We look forward to fostering culture change and positive attitudes towards environmental sustainability at the club as part of this project.”

The ‘Wolverhampton FC’ further stated that the project begins after the Wolves 1877 Trust submitted and passed a motion asking for a greater focus on sustainability and net zero carbon emissions at the Football Supporters Association (FSA) annual general meeting (AGM) in November 2021. Wolves are keen for fans to be involved in the project and will engage them where possible.

Said Wolves 1877 Trust Board Member and FSA National Council Member, Neil Dady, “Wolves 1877 Trust welcomes the partnership between the club and Football for Future and look forward to our involvement with this exciting initiative. Sustainability is a growing concern for Wolves supporters and we are pleased that the club have reacted positively to our FSA motion.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), humanity must significantly reduce carbon emissions this decade to avoid irreversible damage to the climate system. Despite this, 2021 saw the second biggest rise in greenhouse gas emissions on record.

The relationship between football and climate change is clear:

  • A quarter of professional clubs in England could be flooded on a regular basis by 2050. In the Premier League this includes Chelsea F.C.’s residence – the 41,837-capacity Stamford Bridge in London, England (UK), West Ham United F.C.’s residence – the 60,000-capacity London Stadium in London, England, and the Southampton F.C.’s residence – the 32,384-capacity Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, England.
  • But one doesn’t have to look ahead to 2050. The average grassroots pitch in England already loses five weeks a season to bad weather. The women’s football final at the Tokyo Olympics was delayed because of extreme heat;
  • Sport also contributes to climate change, with an estimated global carbon footprint the size of Tunisia, or equivalent nation – and that is at the low end of estimates. Around 70 percent of these emissions are likely to come from fan and team travel, with energy consumption, waste generation and goods sold also significant; and
  • Football has enormous potential to raise environmental awareness and drive climate action. Over half of the world’s population are football fans.

Football For Future (FFF) (footballforfuture.org) is an environmental non-profit made up of sustainability experts, climate scientists and football-creatives, with a mission to build a more environmentally sustainable culture in football. They do this by supporting the implementation of environmentally sustainable operations in football, and by raising awareness of the relationship between football and climate change.

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