Forest Green Rovers: The World's Most Sustainable Pro Football Club

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. This summer’s World Cup in Russia, garnered a 3.572 million global television audience. In other words, more than half of the world’s population tuned in to cheer for their favorite teams. But unfortunately, just like all other corporate sports, professional soccer is inherently unsustainable from an environmental perspective.

Plastic silverware, plates, and cups are served in almost every stadium, and the energy (primarily fossil fuel) it takes to power a stadium, is astronomical. In the midst of a global environmental crisis, one professional club is thriving to make a difference. In the summer of 2018, English based club Forest Green Rovers FC became the first United Nations certified carbon-neutral professional sports team.

Becoming Green

The Forest Green Rovers FC, have a rich history in english football. Founded in 1889, the club is based out of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England. Despite the relatively small fanbase (Nailsworth is home to just over 5,000 people), the club has gained notoriety around the world, for their willingness to implement green technology into their club’s operation. Their games are played in the New Lawn stadium, in Nailsworth, the stadium is 100% powered by renewable energy. Some of New Lawn’s energy is provided by solar panels, that lie at the top of the stadium, the rest of the energy is provided by Ecotricity, an English clean-energy company that gets its energy from a combination of solar, wind, and green gas.

But Forest Green doesn’t stop with the stadium’s energy consumption. They irrigate their pitch with rain water collected beneath the stadium, their grass is cut by a solar-powered robot lawn mower, and they even provide electric car charging stations, to encourage fans to arrive at the stadium as greenly possibly.

The Rovers have also launched a vegan food company called Little Green Devils. The program, which began this past March, aims to provide schools across England with healthy fully vegan food. Over the next few years, the team hopes that the program can extend to universities and even other sporting events. Not only does the vegan diet encourage healthy eating, it is also environmentally sustainable. Livestock produce methane gasses, that contribute to the deterioration of the earth’s ozone layer. In all, livestock emissions makeup a staggering 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the fact that methane gas has 23 times the global warming potential of Co2, going vegan is a great way to contribute to cultivating a healthy planet.

Working with Legend

Today, plastic pollution is destroying ecosystems throughout the globe. Most notably, aquatic species are being harmed due to the amount of plastic in our world’s oceans. When our team at Legend began designing our Legend 1 shin guard, we wanted to develop a product that would help build a greener world. We chose to make our shin guards with bamboo, due to the sustainable principles of bamboo. We are proud to announce that we are partnering with Forest Green Rovers FC, and that many of their players will be donning our guards, in the next English Football League season.


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