In their relentless pursuit to help West Midlands football clubs create a low carbon greener game, Birmingham County FA’s Save Today, Play Tomorrow programme has achieved another key milestone by partnering with Liftshare, the UK’s largest car sharing organisation, to offer all of its members the opportunity to join the 750,000 likeminded people across the country reduce their emissions footprint and save money.
Liftshare currently work with the English Football League (EFL), helping fans from across the 72 clubs make matchday travel better for the environment and more affordable.
Informal car sharing is already happening at many clubs up and down the county. We are asking members to join the Liftshare community and formalise their travel arrangements via the app to help the Association record the journey distances, CO2e savings and the cost effectiveness of car sharing.
The number of vehicles back on the road is already above pre-COVID-19 levels, and, with people’s loss of confidence in travelling safely on public transport during the pandemic, the West Midlands, like other regions, is now contributing more harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Birmingham County FA recently partnered with WM-Air to analyse air quality in and around grassroots football venues and the results showed over 30 venues in the region have dangerous PM2.5 levels, in excess of World Health Organisation guidance. This could result in an increase in serious respiratory and cardiovascular health problems for participants and local residents.
By reducing the number of vehicles travelling to football, it is hoped that Birmingham County FA clubs and teams can dramatically improve the air quality in and around all venues to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.
Birmingham County FA will join the likes of the BBC, Warwickshire County Council, Birmingham Airport & BT in offering this service, with the average member saving almost £1,000 per year on travel costs.
Richard Lindsay, Business Insights Manager at Birmingham County FA and Project Lead for Save Today, Play Tomorrow, said: “We are proud to partner with Liftshare and have been really impressed with their on-going work with the EFL. We know that travel is unavoidable in football and that it makes up the largest percentage of the grassroots game’s carbon footprint. However, as the regional governing body, we have a responsibility to support our members in finding more sustainable alternatives when travelling to and from football.
“By offering our members the opportunity to take advantage of the Liftshare digital platform, we are confident we can reduce emissions, positively impact on air quality in the region and save people money.”
Stacey Annison, Key Account Manager at Liftshare stated: “Momentum behind reducing the environmental impacts of football has never been stronger - particularly following Sky’s #GameZero initiative to host a net zero match between elite level teams. Birmingham County FA really are a best-in-class example of what’s being done at a grassroots level and we hope other leagues will follow their lead. Sharing a journey really is one of the easiest ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We have to travel more sustainably – and we have to do it now.”
Liftshare’s safe and secure site means you always know who you are driving with, and the smart algorithm ensures car owners never make a profit, so their insurance remains unaffected. The Liftshare Platform has saved its member £226m and quarter of a million tonnes of CO2e in the last decade.
In February 2021, Birmingham County FA were accepted as signatories to the UN’s Sport for Climate Action Framework. Save Today, Play Tomorrow now forms the cornerstone of BCFA’s statement of intent to connect positive climate action with grassroots football and support leagues, clubs and teams.
For further information on Liftshare, visit https://liftshare.com/uk