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Premier League clubs’ sustainability efforts ‘markedly improved’

Featured image credit: Omri Yamin on Unsplash

A new report from Sport Positive Leagues has found that Premier League football clubs’ sustainability progress has “markedly improved” over the past five years.

The report maps the environmental sustainability efforts of the 20 Premier League clubs across 13 categories, including energy, transport, waste, water, single-use plastic, food and biodiversity.

Previously, Sport Positive Leagues has released the information in a league table format, with points attributed to levels of activity. This year, the information has been released as a deep-dive report.

The report, which can be read in full here, found that five Premier League clubs are signatories to UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action, while six have net zero targets and six have on-site clean energy generation at their stadium, academy or training ground.

Seven clubs have sustainable transport policies in place, eight have brand identities for their environmental efforts, nine have rainwater or groundwater reuse efforts, and 15 have building management systems at their stadiums to ensure efficiency of resources.

The report also found that 16 clubs have 100% diversion of waste from landfill, with substantive recycling efforts. All 20 clubs serve vegan food options on their concourses.

Although the report noted that there is “much work still to do”, clubs have been praised for the progress made since Sport Positive Leagues started collating the information in 2019.

Last year’s report saw Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur retain their leadership position in the rankings, with Wolverhampton Wanderers the big mover, climbing to joint seventh. Manchester City placed third.

In February, the Premier League announced that clubs had agreed to an Environmental Sustainability Commitment, which introduces a minimum standard of action on environmental issues across the teams and the league itself.

Each club committed to developing a robust environmental sustainability policy by the end of next season, designate a senior employee to lead the club’s environmental sustainability activities, develop a greenhouse gas emissions dataset by the end of 2025-26, and support the development of a common framework for action via the Premier League Sustainability Working Group (PLSWG).