#SBS24 this month in Manchester! Welcome Co-op Live/OVG, RCD Mallorca, Verizon, DWF Law, Hearts, Sunderland AFC, Wembley Stadium, Oxford United, Juventus FC, Croke Park, Stadio Algarve, Everbank Stadium, Kulture City, PAM, Duracell/Procell, Trusts Arena, Suncorp Stadium... Join them
Driving your revenues, sustainability and fan experience: #SBS24 – 15th annual TheStadiumBusiness Summit in Manchester on 17-18-19 June

Sustainability

Sustainability focus: Premier League, Co-op Live, Oxford United & London Stadium

Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, England

Featured image credit: Rob Ridley

The Premier League has today (Friday) announced that clubs have agreed to an Environmental Sustainability Commitment, which introduces a minimum standard of action on environmental issues across the teams and the top division of English club football.

The announcement follows meetings held over the past two days. The Commitment outlines four operational measures, which will seek to build on existing action made by clubs to reduce their environmental impact and provide a foundation to underpin long-term environmental ambitions.

The new Premier League Environmental Sustainability Commitment will see each club:

  • Develop a robust environmental sustainability policy, by the end of the 2024-25 season
  • Designate a senior employee to lead the club’s environmental sustainability activities
  • Develop a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dataset by the end of the 2025-26 season and work towards a standardised football-wide approach to measuring emissions
  • Support the development of a common framework for action via the Premier League Sustainability Working Group (PLSWG)

The League said the measures have been developed following “extensive consultation” with clubs and the PLSWG, which was established last year to help shape and inform environmental practices across the League.

In May, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur retained their leadership position in Sport Positive Leagues’ annual ranking of the environmental sustainability efforts of Premier League clubs, with Wolverhampton Wanderers the big mover.

Co-op Live furthers green claims with Event Cup Solutions

Co-op Live has continued its drive to become Europe’s most sustainable arena by announcing a five-year partnership with Event Cup Solutions.

As part of the partnership, Event Cup Solutions will provide the soon-to-open Manchester venue with unbranded, reusable cups through the ONE Planet ONE Chance Reusable Cup System. This rental-based system uses generically branded cups that can be reused multiple times across numerous sites.

Co-op Live will feature designated collection points around the venue where visitors can return their reusable cups which will be taken off-site to be washed and repacked at Event Cup Solutions’ new wash centre.

Set to be launched in April, and located just eight miles from Co-op Live, this facility has the capacity to wash, dry and repack in excess of 50 million cups each year.

Reusable cups are just one of several measures that Co-op Live is implementing to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of the venue’s design. Key features include locally sourced construction materials, the installation of air source heat pumps, solar panels, and rainwater recycling. The arena will also be zero waste to landfill.

Gary Roden, executive director and general manager of Co-op Live, said: “By having sustainability at the core of what we do, Co-op Live is setting a new example to arenas around the world.

“Alongside our other climate-focused features, using recyclable cups is a simple and obvious way to significantly reduce our waste. Partnering with Event Cup Solutions sees us working with one of the most innovative, climate certified and forward-looking companies in the industry who will play a massive role in helping us achieve our sustainability objectives.”

John Reeves, director of Event Cup Solutions, added: “Since we launched in 2019, we have been committed to educating visitors at a host of UK venues about the environmental benefits of reuse and are thrilled that we will be playing an integral part in helping Co-op Live achieve its sustainability goals.

“Over the past four years we have operated within many music venues, sports stadia, and festival sites to encourage visitors to return our sustainable ONE Planet ONE Chance reusable cups to convenient collection points located throughout the venues. We measure our success on cup retention and helping venues minimise their emissions and boost their green credentials.”

Co-op Live, a joint venture between Oak View Group and City Football Group, is due to open in April as the UK’s largest live entertainment arena.

Oxford United signs on to UN Sports for Climate Action Framework

Oxford United has become the first League One football club to sign the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, with its proposed new stadium a key element of its sustainability plans.

By joining the Framework, the club is committed to halving its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2040. United becomes the 13th English football club to sign the pledge, which seeks to tackle climate change and bring the global sports community in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

A major part of the club’s net-zero commitment is building a state-of-the-art low-carbon 16,000-capacity stadium at the Triangle in Kidlington. United this week said it would target new sustainability benchmarks as it spelled out further plans for the stadium.

If constructed, the new stadium would be one of the greenest in the UK. Technology would include using 3,000m2 of solar panels to generate electricity and heat recovery solutions to maximise thermal efficiency. Heat pumps would provide an estimated 80% reduction in CO2 emissions per year when compared to gas boilers.

The stadium would include drainage systems, rain storage and recycling solutions to re-use rainwater to improve biodiversity, while plans to enhance biodiversity on the land at the Triangle would achieve a significant net gain.

Tim Williams, CEO of Oxford United, said: “This is a club-wide commitment across all our operations and we have a clear strategy to ensure we become one of English football’s most environmentally friendly clubs.

“Central to our vision is our plan for our new stadium, which will have sustainability at its core. It will act as a blueprint for future design and transform how modern stadia operate with the future of our planet in mind.

“As the county’s sole professional club, we’re mindful of our responsibility to lead the way in taking action against climate change and using the reach of Oxford United to inspire our community to work together towards a more sustainable future.”

London Stadium’s Coke renewal has green focus

London Stadium has agreed a multi-year contract extension with beverage manufacturer and supplier, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP). 

The partnership will see Coca-Cola products including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Fanta, Sprite, Oasis, Smartwater and Schweppes continue to be distributed at London Stadium across all catering facilities.

CCEP will continue to prioritise eco-friendly initiatives. The brand will emphasise waste reduction, recycling and responsible sourcing, aligning with the energy-efficient technologies currently integrated into the stadium facilities.

Collaborative work within the stadium premises will aim to raise awareness about environmental issues, inspiring fans to adopt greener practices in their daily lives.

Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium, said: “We are delighted to announce the extension of our partnership with CCEP as we continue our common goal of reducing the overall environmental footprint here at London Stadium. Together, we are building a responsible legacy, demonstrating that sustainability and world-class entertainment should go hand-in-hand.”