Champions in Sustainability: the first soccer team 'zero emissions'

Green t-shirts are made with textile fiber from coffee bills. The playing field proclaims its "pesticide-free" status. The stadium is supplied to 100% wit

Champions in Sustainability: the first soccer team 'zero emissions'

Green t-shirts are made with textile fiber from coffee bills. The playing field proclaims its "pesticide-free" status. The stadium is supplied to 100% with renewable energies and food stalls are not served. The fans shout with pride in the stands "Vegan, Vegan!" And children run along with posters with the motto if nature wins, we all won.

We are in The New Lawn, the seat of the Forest Green Rovers, the first soccer team certified by the UN as a neutral in carbon and ratified by FIFA as the greenmost in the world. To environmental success this year has been added this year the sports triumph, and there we have the team perched with 31 points at the first place of the English League 2 (equivalent to the Third Spanish Division).

"We have shown that things can be done otherwise and winning," says Ufano, Dale Vince, founder of the Ecotricity Renewable Energy Company, which rescued the ruin team in 2010 and embarked on a transition Ecological and unprecedented sports. "That is the challenge we are facing: we have to make the alternative not only as good, but even better, both in sports and climate change."

"I always liked football, although I took the reins of this club for a happy accident," recalls Vince, who continues to play as an amateur at 60 years and caresses the dream of seeing the Forest Green in the Championship (the Second English Division) And why not, in the Premier. We talked with him before a generous salad in the noble area of the New Lawn, the old stadium in the Bucocolic Nailsworth (6,000 inhabitants) who will leave a step in a short time to the futuristic Ecopark, designed entirely with wood by the Study of Zaha Hadid.

"Call it if you want the stadium of our dreams, which can be expanded to the 15,000 spectators. Building in wood is the best for carbon capture. It will be supplied in situ by solar panels and wind turbines and will be flanked by more than 500 trees and two kilometers of shrubs. We want that around him a hub of technological and environmental innovation also grow. And we want to continue winning games, of course: sports credibility goes from the hand of environmental credibility. "

In neighboring Stroud, the cradle of the Extinction Rebellion movement, Dale Vince greets the walkers on the posters that are credited as Green Britain's most popular face. With the melena of eternal rebel of him (he left school at age 15 and spent a season in Spain at his wandering time of Traveler), he has been doing things "otherwise".

Ecotricity was born of his passion for wind turbines, long before the United Kingdom earned the fame of Saudi wind arabia. For years he pursued the Holy Grail of the electric car (Nemesis Project) and herself went to the "Electrollers". Now they are embarked on the generation of gas with grass, and in the manufacture of "zero impact diamonds" from CO2 captured from the atmosphere (SkyDiamond). Your next endeavor is a domestic scrubber capable of reclicing all the water from a house in 24 hours.

But his free time is dedicated to the green that I love you of the Forest Green Rovers, who have allowed him to get much further than he never thought of his message: "We are not proselytish, but we are preaching with the example and what We are doing attractive, from that incredible platform that is the most popular sport in the world. The impression and the environment were like two different planets: now they have to be understood and orbiting together. "

"Things are changing and football can not stay out of play", certifies Welsh coach Rob Edwards, 38, who wore the Aston Villa and Wolves shirt and played at times with the Gareth Bale myth. "The world goes in one direction and we are modestly marking the way, but the big clubs look at us very closely".

Chelsea and Tottenham actually disputed the first carbon neutral match of the Premier, sponsored by the Sky chain, one of the sponsors of COP26. The UN has launched Climate Neutral Now program, to urge sports teams to make ecological transition. The initiative nevertheless lacks the renowned athletes as Hector Bellerín, the side of the Arsenal (assigned to the Betis) that became sympathetic and partner of the Forest Green Rovers.

Coach Rob Edwards anticipates how the team will soon travel by electric bus, and how all small changes are having an impact on the daily life of their pupils: "Almost all have passed to the electric car. Some have become vegan, although in House we can eat what we want. All you do, you think twice for seeing if it fits into the club's ethics. And on top of it matches with our attack football and with a handful of young players with great talent What else can we ask ? "

Dom Bernard, 24-year-old defense, has not yet become allege to veganism but recognizes that his environmental awareness has skyrocketed since he signed two years ago by the Forest Green Rovers: "In this club, we have all put the bar very high . We have proposed to climb the football pyramid and we know that there is a very exciting project behind. We are the clearest example of ecological transition in football, and that connects us in a special way with the fans. "

In the Forest Green Rovers, in his party with Swindon Town, the typical advertisements of Fly Emirates leave for unusual claims as sustainability in sport or converts veganism into your goal. At the entrance to the stands, a poster warns monitors your language and in the cafeteria de devils Kitchen, Henry Meer is debated in the Denconso between some vegan meatballs or a sweet potato hamburger. "What do you think?" He asks the son of him Kevin, dressed in the green "Atrigrad" t-shirt of his team. "This type of dilemmas did not have them before," he confesses Henry. "Then we only ate puppies and we consoled us if the team did not lose, now we come to see them win."

It has been the last and sounding goal of petrodollar: the purchase of Newcastle United by an investment group led by the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia State (PIC). After years of resistance, the English authorities have decided to look to another side and consent to the controversial assault of Saudi money to sport.

Decluding football? Here is the great taboo that nobody speaks. The relationship between the black gold and the ball of gold has gone to more in the last two decades. Football is the other great reef of the fossil fuels industry, provides washing its image and consolidating its international projection with the ownership of clubs, television bombing and advertising at stadiums and t-shirts (Fly Emirates, They know).

With a capital estimated at 360,000 million euros, from the sale of oil, the Saudi Arabia pic can now turn to Newcastle into the richest club in the world, ahead of the Manchester City of Sheikur of Arab Emirates and PSG of Paris from Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir de Qatar (where the 2022 World Cup is celebrated by the way).

The Newcastle, penultimate in the Premiere, aspires to reconquer the acquired fame a century ago, when he won three consecutive leagues. The Governor of the Pic Yasir al-Rumayyan will become the "non-executive" president of the club. Despite the guarantees on the separation of powers, everything points out that the true owner of the Newcastle will actually be Mohamed Bin Salman, the Almighty Prince inhervo of Saudi Arabia.

Gazprom, the Russian Gas Giant, also has the football tap in its hands, as the UEFA partner at the Champions and Sponsor of Equipment such as the Zenit of St. Petersburg, the Shalke 04 of Germany or the Red Star of Belgrade . It is estimated that Gazprom controls 15% of global gas reserves and an appreciable amount of oil.

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea, has great interests in the fossil fuels industry through Evraz, a company specialized in steel and coal mining. Abramovich has figured on several lists as the millionaire with greater "carbon stain" of the world, thanks to its eight yacht fleet and three private aircraft

Updated Date: 09 November 2021, 22:25

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