Healthy drinks brand innocent, which sponsors the world’s greenest football club, Nailsworth-based League 2 side Forest Green Rovers has revealed plans to help the UK on its way to its net zero targets by planting 50 trees for every professional football game in the UK that ‘nets zero’ and finishes 0-0.
Nil-nil games – or bore draws as they are often known – ensure no one wins, but for every game where no one hits the back of the net this season, the environment will now be the winner, with clean sheets meaning green shoots.
The initiative will take into account results across the English Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2, as well as the Scottish Premier League, Scottish Championship, Scot-tish League 1, Scottish League 2 and the Women’s Super League.
The move will include games already played this season. So far, there have been 127 0-0 draws across these leagues, meaning that innocent has already committed to planting 6,350 trees. It is expected that the figure will hit 10,000 trees by the end of the season.
To launch the tree planting pledge, Forest Green Rovers Chairman Dale Vince was joined by players Kane Wilson and Nicky Cadden, as well as Hannah Dingley – the first woman to become academy manager of a Football League club – who symbolically planted the first tree of the campaign on the ground’s pitch.
The tree has since been moved to a permanent location for it to grow to its full potential over the coming years. innocent already grabbed the headlines this season with its sponsorship of Forest Green Rovers, when a fan vote to rename the stadium – to which innocent had the naming rights – almost saw the ground renamed ‘Kevin’. Although order was restored when a final vote amongst season ticket holders led to its previous name of ‘The New Lawn’ being reinstated.
innocent’s UK Marketing Director, Anna Bateson said, “Our sponsorship of Forest Green Rovers is about more than renaming the ground. We want to show how businesses from different fields can come together to lead the way on sustainability. We decided that for every game that nets zero, we’d make sure that the environment is the winner.”
Dale Vince, chairman of Forest Green Rovers said, “Nil-nil is a score line with no winners or losers. But not anymore. With 50 trees being planted for every goalless draw in professional football in Britain, there will be a winner. As an environmentalist I’m keen on that and with our own league so tight right now – I’ll be willing our rivals to nil-nil results with added reason.”
Fans can monitor the progress of trees planted by tracking a totaliser on Forest Green Rovers’ and innocent’s social media pages.