Birmingham County FA has announced its participation in the world’s biggest football-climate campaign, Green Football Weekend, which will see more than 80 of the UK’s professional football clubs and their fans mobilising to tackle climate change.
Over Green Football Weekend, taking place in early February 2023, millions of UK fans will be encouraged to take climate-friendly actions to score green goals to help their club win the coveted Green Football Cup. Clubs across the leagues will be making their weekend fixtures ‘greener games’, improving their on-site recycling, serving veggie food and supporting sustainable travel to games. Schools and community groups will be running special Green Football Weekend activities, and high-profile players will be encouraging fans to get scoring for their clubs.
Green Football Weekend, which is set to become an annual event, is powered by Sky, BT Sport, the Football Supporters Association, Pledgeball, Planet League, First News and Count Us In. The campaign is also supported by the English Football League and Forest Green Rovers.
Birmingham County FA and their award winning Save Today, Play Tomorrow programme has already mobilised 100 clubs, 700 teams and over 10,000 participants to engage in action across six key environmental areas of travel, food, waste, water, energy and community engagement through their sustainability pledge initiative, which has seen a collective annual saving so far this season of 2,031,368 kg of CO2e per year, the equivalent to taking 441.6 cars off the road.
Richard Lindsay, Birmingham County FA lead on the Save Today, Play Tomorrow programme, said: “We have been working hard over the last 18 months across our region to help support grassroots football reduce its impacts on the planet through a number of schemes & initiatives, and we are very much looking forward to being part of the wider football community as it comes together in advocating positive change through the Green Football Weekend.”
Figures released today show the UK’s World Cup fans have the power to reduce carbon pollution by more than 900 million kg CO2e - the equivalent of taking nearly half of Leeds’ cars off the road - by adopting three simple climate-friendly habits over the month-long tournament:
1) Reducing shower time to 4 minutes.
2) Having two veggie days per week.
3) Turning the thermostat down by 1 degree.
Based on the 26.5 million fans who watched the England v Croatia World Cup semi-final in 2018, these actions by fans could create the carbon equivalent of:
1) taking 55,196 cars off the road or planting 4.23 million trees (4 minute showers)
2) taking 77,209 cars off the road or planting 5.92 million trees (two veggie days per week).
3) taking 67,405 cars off the road or planting 5.17 million trees (turning the thermostat down).
If UK World Cup fans adopted these simple habits throughout the year, they would up their impact even more, taking a total of 2.4 million cars off the road every year (a total 11.128 billion kg CO2e) - nearly all the number of cars registered in London.
In addition to protecting our world, making these changes could shave up to £728 off the average household’s food and energy bills.
Sarah Jacobs, Green Football Weekend, said: “Climate change affects all of us, and football is showing we can all do something to tackle it, whether you’re cycling instead of driving to training, or using a refillable water bottle at a match. Individual action has the power to reduce global carbon emissions by nearly a third. It’s incredible to see so many partners coming together to build the power of Green Football Weekend.”
Fergus Garber, Director of Broadcast & Production Operations BT Sport, said: “Our support for Green Football Weekend continues BT Sport’s journey to be a sustainable broadcaster. We are looking forward to joining with Green Football Weekend's other partners and broadcasters to help combat the climate emergency, and plan to bring fans plenty of fun and thought-provoking moments across Green Football Weekend. We encourage football fans to get involved in Green Football Weekend."