Climate Action

Making positive lifestyle changes is the simplest and best way to contribute to reducing the impact football has on the environment.

Save Today Play TomorrowBelow you will see a collection of partners that all offer practical, engaging and fun ways to introduce sustainable choices

For many, trying to understand climate change and how football is both a contributor and an unfortunate victim is a complex issue. This section is designed to help those involved in football understand the impacts of the game but also how, by adapting new ways of working, we can achieve a lower carbon game. 

To help understand the issue here is a Club Carbon Calculator where you can begin to understand how travel to and from football has a significant impact on your footprint. 

Football Kit

For many clubs, in particular those in junior and youth football, the largest and most frequent outlay of funds is on purchasing new kit. The problem with regularly purchasing new is that this is adding to the problem of climate change through the manufacturing process. The raw material for shirts is polyester which is a plastic created from extracting oil, further depleting natural resources before it is refined into the polyester required for the garment. This process requires massive amounts of energy and water which in turn releases damaging amounts of CO2 in to our atmosphere.

Football is not in isolation here; the fashion/textile industry as a whole is responsible for 10% of all global CO2 emissions. 

What can our club do?

Keeping kit in circulation for longer is key. The durability of football kit has vastly improved over the last few years which means that items now have a shelf life of 5+ years, not 2 or 3 which is the case for some. Alternatively, you could try one or all of the following; 

Run a rental, returns or hand-back scheme, passing older kit through the age groups where possible (many inner-city schools are using this system to reduce the financial burden on families from more economically deprived areas). Read more HERE  

Donate unwanted kit to local schools for their teams

Donate or sell kit using online platforms like eBay and Facebook to generate club funds

Where possible avoid sending unwanted kit to Africa or other developing countries because as yet the infrastructure is not in place to responsibly dispose of items once they have reached their end of life, meaning a large percentage are dumped in landfill or illegally burnt. Watch this this short film to see the shocking effects. 

Birmingham County FA are keen to work with clubs who want to try and establish the first-ever circular economy for kit. Email savetodayplaytomorrow@BirminghamFA.com using the subject title “Circular Economy”

Responsible end-of-life disposal - Why recycle?

An estimated £140 million worth (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to waste in landfill every year.

The average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes, but around 30% hasn’t been worn for at least a year.

Clothing made from natural materials like cotton, wool and leather will produce a range of greenhouse gases while biodegrading in landfill sites.

For every tonne of textiles reused rather than sent into landfill, CO2eq (harmful greenhouse gases) are reduced by 7 tonnes.

Extending the average life of clothes by nine months (the length of a football season) would save £5 billion in resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing.

Donating your unwanted clothing and household items to The Salvation Army helps raise millions for good causes. 

*Source of statistics: WRAP

Find your nearest Salvation Army clothing bank here:

Pledge of Sustainability 

PledgeballWe have partnered with the charity Pledgeball for the 21/22 season, to encourage all clubs to sign up for the first-of-its-kind Sustainability Pledge in football. Using Pledgeball’s unique digital platform, all clubs are eligible to join along with their members, supporters and family and make simple lifestyle choices that help improve the planet and move your club up the Sustainability League Table.

Making pledges reaffirms your commitment to smarter choices about how you travel to football, reducing the amount of plastic, disposing of litter responsibly and promoting recycling

Clubs who sign up to the pledge will be challenged to share their stories and success over our new social platforms.

League Table

GREEN INNOVATION FUND

As part of Birmingham County FA's commitment to creating a low carbon, greener game, we are giving clubs the opportunity to apply for grant funding up to the value of £750 to help support innovative, environmentally positive sustainability projects at a grassroots level.

APPLY NOW

The portal will close at midnight on 30 September 2021.

 Green Innovation

Planet Super League 

Planet Super League is an agile start-up that harnesses the power of the beautiful game to motivate people to make positive environmental behaviour changes.

Planet Super LeagueThe format is simple. Families register via the website, select the team they would like to play for and then each week your club will play against a rival. You score goals by completing planet-saving football activities, post a picture on the Planet Super League social channels and by the end of the 11 weeks your club could be the winner of the PSL trophy!

Oh… and a great consolation prize for all participants is that they’ll have cut their families annual carbon footprint by up to two tonnes.

The project has already attracted wide media interest, featuring recently on the BBC news and across social media. Leicester City were the inaugural champions, but it is hoped with the backing of Birmingham County FA clubs, a team from within the West Midlands could be crowned champions at the end of season 2!

SIGN UP NOW and be part of the team

Birmingham Energy Initiative 

Birmingham Energy Initiative are an energy company with a bold vision – empowering change in Birmingham where energy is consumed sustainably, generated renewably, and shared fairly, focused on empowering individuals to change through their innovative Educating Energy platform. 

The energy company’s partnership with Birmingham County FA signals their commitment to helping football clubs of all shapes and sizes at the heart of their local communities in their plans to become better educated about energy - and aim for net zero emissions through a range of solutions like solar panels, LED lighting and electric vehicle charging points. 

In addition to their club support, Birmingham Energy Initiative want to use the power of football to highlight and tackle the ever-increasing problem of fuel poverty across the region. It is estimated that currently there are 304,000 households in the West Midlands in fuel poverty, exacerbating wider poverty and inequality issues. 

Through the partnership the aim is to raise the profile of the growing problem of fuel poverty and offer support through education, resources and signposting to organisations that can help. 

To find out more about Birmingham Energy Initiative, please visit https://www.birminghamenergyinitiative.co.uk/

Refill 

Refill is an award-winning, consumer and corporate behaviour-change campaign to help people live with less plastic. 

The campaign is designed to normalise refill and reuse behaviour and support the infrastructure needed to enable people to access reuse options. 

Refill connect people to places they can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging. Anyone can download the free Refill app to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill. From a coffee on your commute, to drinking water on the go, or even shopping with less plastic, Refill puts the power to go packaging free at your fingertips. 

With more than 30,000 Refill Stations accepting reusables globally, over 300,000 app downloads and 100 million pieces of plastic avoided to date, we’ve proven that Refill has the power to create a wave of change and stop plastic pollution at source.

On average 48,000 matches take place in the region each season, so it is easy to see what the scale of the problem is, but by partnering with Refill and offering this simple solution, it is hoped this is the first step for grassroots football to remove plastic waste from the game.

To find out more about Refill and World Refill Day, please visit https://www.refill.org.uk/world-refill-day

Birmingham University Clean Air Study & Football 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE 

Air Quality Data

620Birmingham County FA recently partnered with WM-Air to analyse across the region where poor air quality could impact on football venues

The findings concluded that; 

Approximately 50%  of all registered Home Grounds and 55% of Training Grounds in the County are in locations which exceed WHO health-based air quality guidelines for annual PM2.5 concentrations.

Using WM-Air modelled air quality data we estimate that approximately half of the Weds Midlands population  live in locations which exceed WHO health-based air quality guidelines for annual PM2.5 concentrations.

 
Health Effects of PM: Inhalation of particulate pollution can have adverse health impacts, and there is understood to be no safe threshold below which no adverse effects would be anticipated. The biggest impact of particulate air pollution on public health is understood to be from long-term exposure to PM2.5, which increases the age-specific mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular causes. Several plausible mechanisms for this effect on mortality have been proposed, although it is not yet clear which is the most important.

 

Exposure to high concentrations of PM (e.g. during short-term pollution episodes) can also exacerbate lung and heart conditions, significantly affecting quality of life, and increase deaths and hospital admissions. Children, the elderly and those with predisposed respiratory and cardiovascular disease, are known to be more susceptible to the health impacts from air pollution (source: https://laqm.defra.gov.uk/public-health/pm25.html)

To read the full report, please click here

The data from the report has also been plotted as a kml file onto a Google map, along with air quality information for all football locations for you to view. 

The locations have been ranked in terms of the air quality in the corresponding 1 km2 DEFRA dataset, and the estimated NO2 and PM2.5 annual mean concentrations can be viewed by clicking on each location

Home grounds 

Training grounds 

Birmingham County FA plan to work closely with WM-Air on more in depth research over the coming months to help better understand the health impacts poor air quality have on football participants and also provide tangible solutions that football can adopt to help reduce harmful emissions 

BIRMINGHAM COUNTY FA: SAVE TODAY, PLAY TOMORROW E-NEWSLETTER 

Whether you are involved in football or not here is a great way to keep up to date with all the relevant information on how we can create a greener and more sustainable game.

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