I’ve been working with Hanwell Town FC to launch Green Geordies, their environmental sustainability strategy. You can read it here.
I started working with Hanwell Town back in January, joining as the first ever Chief Sustainability Officer in football.
Our first move was to sign the UN Sports for Climate Action framework, a pledge that put us alongside the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool in terms of our environmental ambitions.
Since then, I’ve been working closely with the club, mostly Nigel Hunt (CEO) and Elsa Jones (Head of Marketing) to work out what it means for Hanwell to become a sustainable football club.
Today we’ve launched Green Geordies, our strategy which includes some of the most ambitious environmental goals in football, including a commitment to become a net zero carbon football club by 2030.
Hanwell have already invested in a climate resilient pitch and installed automated LED lighting among other upgrades.
It was clear too that ‘circularity’ was already a key pillar of how the club operates, with seats and furniture inherited from nearby Griffin Park, a pitch side scoreboard which used to belong to Man City and timber recovered from local building projects to use for improvements and repairs.
We’ve been working through ideas to do even more. Some opportunities, such as LED floodlights and a bicycle rack at the ground, were already front of mind. A lack of recycling facilities and use of single-use plastics, such as drinks cups, were also obvious points to address. We established a list of projects that we felt could be in place before the season begins, in August, so that the matchday experience instantly feels more sustainable.
By also looking ahead and committing to ambitious, longer term environmental goals, we are setting ourselves a challenge which we don’t necessarily have all of the answers to. While many changes can be made without cost, some are reliant on significant levels of investment. A compelling story and the support of partners and sponsors will be key to realise our plans.
In preparing for the launch, we were delighted to host Football for Future to the club, to share our story and shoot some video content.
We’re also excited to be working closely with Powerday, our stadium sponsor, to find ways to work together on waste management and wider sustainability.
The support of the whole club has been amazing so far, fully behind the sustainability transition. While the strategy currently focuses only on environmental sustainability, I hope this will ultimately be considered just ‘part one’, with a broader sustainability plan which brings in the incredible social impact of the club too.
There’s lots more to come!