Forest Green Rovers Football Club has won a prestigious Gold Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice in the Sports Leisure & Hospitality wastes management category.
The award was presented in a special ceremony at the Houses of Parliament in London.
Collecting the award was Dane Vince, General Manager at Forest Green Rovers, who said: “I am really pleased, a huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes between the club and Grundon Waste Management, so to be recognised for all our efforts is really appreciated.
“The biggest challenge is encouraging everyone to put the right rubbish into the right bins in order to avoid contamination, however people are now openly questioning ‘where does your waste go’, ‘how do you reuse or recycle’. Society has moved to the point where you have to think about these things and do something about it, people expect you to offer solutions.
“This is a real partnership with Dan and the Grundon team, having a company that you can work closely with over a long period of time and who can effectively reduce the amount you spend on waste management is very unusual – most companies will provide the service and then forget about it.”
Looking ahead, Dane says the club’s next ambition is to install a new composting solution which will enable over 90% of total waste to be either recycled or composted.
The League Two football club, based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, is majority owned by green energy supplier Ecotricity Group, and the team has been working with Grundon Waste Management in order to implement a radical waste management and reduction strategy.
It means that for the last two years, after a major focus on recycling and sending waste to energy recovery facilities to generate green energy, the club has sent zero waste to landfill.
Even more impressive, this season will see around 80 per cent of what was sent for energy from waste now going instead to in-vessel composting, including grass cuttings, food waste, compostable cutlery, cups, trays and packaging.
The club has also been working hard on initiatives such as sourcing sustainable and compostable cutlery and packaging for snacks including crisps and chocolate bars.
With segregation of waste critical to recycling success, new recycling stations with clearly signposted sections for compostable waste, general waste and mixed recycling are being installed and the aim is for 100% of everything supplied to supporters to be compostable or recyclable.
In 2017, FGR was officially recognised as the world’s first vegan football club after it received the Vegan Trademark from the Vegan Society. The football club’s commitment to sustainability has been such that in 2019 FIFA, football’s governing body, named it the world’s greenest football club. It was also the first club on the planet to be certified carbon neutral by the United Nations.
Grundon’s Regional Sales Manager, Daniel Peacey who manages the relationship, said: “We are absolutely thrilled at Forest Green Rovers’ success, which is richly deserved. They are to be congratulated on all their achievements and we are proud to have worked alongside them to deliver these improvements. Well done to everyone.”
The Green Apple Environment Awards were launched in 1994 by The Green Organisation to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world, and have become well established as one of the most popular global environmental campaigns.