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Bristol City becomes first club after Forest Green to earn GreenCode accreditation

Ashton Gate Stadium – home of Bristol City – now generates over 100,000kWh of electricity through solar panels (Image: Bristol City FC)

Bristol City FC has become the first football club to earn GreenCode Accreditation through the EFL Green Clubs scheme.

GreenCode is an environmental accreditation company which assesses clubs across 26 environmental and sustainability criteria, with 76 points required to gain GreenCode accreditation.

The scheme was born from the work of environmentalist Dale Vince, who owns Forest Green Rovers and has been the driving force in the club becoming recognised by the United Nations and FIFA as the world’s greenest football club.

Following a recent audit, Bristol City achieved a score of 80, making the club the first to earn GreenCode Accreditation since the launch of the EFL Green Clubs Scheme in 2021. Forest Green Rovers have held the standard since the launch of the scheme.

Bristol City’s GreenCode accreditation is in part recognition of a city-wide, sports-related sustainability initiative called Project Whitebeam.

The scheme, a partnership between Bristol City, Bristol Bears, Bristol Flyers, Ashton Gate Stadium and Bristol Sport – recognises, measures and mitigates impact on the environment.

All five partners have signed up to the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework with Race to Zero targets of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and being net zero by 2040.

Ashton Gate Stadium – home of Bristol City – now generates over 100,000kWh of electricity through solar panels, uses energy efficient lighting, has water saving devices and has zero waste to landfill.

In addition, more than 50% of the food and drink served in the stadium has been sourced from less than 12 miles away, with vegetarian and vegan food available at all concessions, while surplus matchday food is donated to a women’s homeless shelter less than a mile away.

For games away from home members of club staff deliver food from the team hotel to shelters for the homeless and refuges in the local area of the opponent City are playing against.

Head of Change and Sustainability at Ashton Gate Peter Smith said: “We’re delighted to gain GreenCode accreditation following a thorough audit process. This shows that clubs can make system-level changes which will have numerous benefits for them, the community and the environment.”

Trevor Birch, EFL Chief Executive added: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind today and therefore it is vitally important that the EFL and its clubs take steps to improve and minimise our environmental impact.

“Professional football will not be immune to the effects of the climate crisis and there has never been a more important time for the EFL and its Clubs to make a collective commitment in this area.

“A number of our Clubs are already taking practical steps to become more sustainable and using the expertise of the global leader in our ranks, we hope EFL Green Clubs will provide an opportunity for every Club in our competition to continue, enhance or begin their journey to a more sustainable future.”

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