Forest Green Rovers has been recognised by the United Nations, after receiving a “Momentum for Change” climate action award in New York last night.
Forest Green received the award in the Climate Neutral Now category, after becoming the first football club in the world to work with the UN to go carbon neutral at the start of the season.
The 15 winners were presented with their awards by Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of UN Climate Change, at Climate Week NYC – one of the key sustainability summits in the international calendar.
FGR chairman, Dale Vince, was one of five speakers at the event, where he discussed the club’s unique approach to tackling climate change – which includes the introduction of a fully vegan menu, an organic pitch, electric car chargers, the installation of solar panels and a solar powered robot lawnmower.
As a part of the award, Forest Green Rovers will travel to the next UN climate change conference – COP24 – which takes place in Katowice, Poland in December this year.
FGR chairman, Dale Vince, said: “We’re pretty chuffed to have this recognition from the United Nations for our work in promoting sustainability through sport.
“Plenty of people doubted we could make this improbable combination of a football club and the environment work, but it’s proven to be a powerful combination.
“We’ve reached over 3 billion people in the last year with our story and our messaging and all around the world people have become fans of FGR because of the stand we take on environmental issues – we now have fan clubs in over 20 different countries.
“We’ve created a new kind of football club and a new kind of fan, people who are fans of football and the environment.”
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “These activities shine a light on scalable climate action around the world. They are proof that climate action isn’t only possible, it’s innovative, it’s exciting and it makes a difference.”
About Forest Green Rovers
In 2017 FGR was promoted to the Football League for the first time in the club’s 129 year history and will start its second season in League Two next month.
FIFA has described Forest Green Rovers as “the world’s greenest football club” due to the club’s pioneering work in sustainability.
It’s officially recognised as the world’s first vegan football club after the club received the Vegan Trademark from the Vegan Society. The club became vegan because of the huge environmental and animal welfare impacts of livestock farming, as well as to improve player performance and give fans healthier, tastier food on matchdays.
FGR is powered by 100% green energy from Ecotricity, some of which is generated by the solar panels on the roof and the solar tracker at the ground entrance.
The team plays on the world’s only organic pitch, which is cut by a solar powered robot lawnmower that FGR refer to as “the Mowbot”.
All rainwater that falls on the stands or on the pitch is recycled, to minimise the club’s use of mains water.
The club has electric car charging facilities at the stadium, to encourage fans to travel to games sustainably.
Visit www.fgr.co.uk/our-ethos/greening-up-football for more information.
Image: PA Images