It’s been said that sport has the power to change the world. It brings people together, sharing the highs and lows of their favourite team. It has the power to transform many things including communities, attitudes and even the environment.
A foundation set up by England football coach Gary Neville is aiming to make sustainability top of the agenda in the sporting world.
Co-founded by Gary Neville and Dale Vince in 2012, the foundation believes that sport should be leading the green agenda.
Sustainability in Sport wants to use the influence of sport to spread information about environmental issues and the need for sustainability to the widest possible audience.
The foundation has set out to establish eco-standards for all activities relating to the operation of sports clubs. This involves sustainable development from the grassroots level upwards: fans, clubs and governing bodies taking more responsibility for reducing the environmental impact of sport.
The founders are working with technology providers to develop and demonstrate technology that helps clubs produce their own renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. This will reduce business energy costs as well as carbon emissions.
Gary teamed up with Dale in 2011 through a shared passion for both football and environmental issues.
The pair worked together to make Gary’s testimonial match against Juventus in May 2011, the first ever to be powered by renewable energy.
The former Manchester United club captain decided that the game should be powered by wind-turbine energy. This included everything at Old Trafford from the floodlights to the hot water used to make drinks in the kiosks.
Before the match, Gary announced that profits from the testimonial would be used to build a series of 300-500kW community-scale wind projects across the country.
The revenue from these turbines has been put back into the Sustainability in Sport fund.
Do you have any tips on how to make sport more sustainable? Leave a comment below.