Reporting Boundary: Birmingham site (Ray
Hall Lane, Great Barr, Birmingham, B43 6JF)
Emission sources: Electricity, T&D Losses, Natural Gas, Refrigerants, Other Fuels, Water, Business Travel, Commuting, Waste, Paper, Homeworking (excluded from footprint)
Reporting Period: 01 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2021
We engage our employees and wider stakeholders to unlock their talent and knowledge to drive year on year progress in sustainability.
We recognise that transparent communication is essential for transformational change and we quantifiably contribute to 5 SDG’s.
Birmingham County Football Association (BCFA) are the Regional Governing Body for football, part of the national Football Associations network of 48 County FA’s. In June 2021, they launched the first of its kind sustainability project: Save Today, Play Tomorrow.
BCFA are in their first year of Planet Mark Business Certification, and with their current initiatives, are already at Stage One of their Net Zero journey, with commitments to be Net Zero across the Association by 2030.
For the Football industry, travel and transport are the biggest carbon challenges. By adopting an agile workplace for staff and, with Liftshare, they have launched the first ever car-sharing scheme in grassroots football, to encourage and change behaviours on how c.80K participants travel to and from training and matchday.
Air quality is also a major challenge for the sector, as a result, BCFA have partnered with WM-Air, a leading air science team based out of University of Birmingham, who conducted a study on football venues in 2021 that highlighted over 30 with air quality levels exceeding WHO safe guidelines. Work has now started with the clubs that use these venues to help educate them to change their behaviours, reduce reliance on cars, sourcing more sustainable and more active ways to travel, which tackles both the environmental impact but also helps with the social impacts too with less congestion, noise pollution and parking problems for local residents.
“Birmingham County Football Association have taken the bold step in placing environmental sustainability at the heart of their strategy, with the ambitious aim to create a low carbon greener game. Being members of the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework and also Race to Zero are also helping to shape the future of a greener game beyond their County, meaning they are involved in conversations at the highest level and having a huge collective impact, and providing a blueprint for others to follow.”
Through their Save Today, Play Tomorrow programme, BCFA have already signed up 100 clubs to their Sustainability Pledge for this season, where the signatories will commit to reduce their energy and water consumption, implement more seasonal vegan and vegetarian food options, consider how they promote more active/sustainable ways to travel to and from football, reduce waste & engage in more environmental community projects such as rewilding.
By placing environmental sustainability at the heart of our strategy BCFA plan to use the power of football and their reach as a force for good in supporting the grassroots game and reduce its impact on the planet. Being Planet Mark certified helps give credibility to their wider programme through transparency of reporting at each stage and allows their consumers to be part of the journey as they transition to a Net Zero business.
“After the launch of our sustainability programme Save Today, Play Tomorrow in 2021 and our commitment to the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework we needed to be in a position where we could report transparently on the performance of the organisation. From the initial conversation with Planet Mark it was clear they were engaged in our business and quickly understood the complexities, targets and timescales we were working towards. In addition, the value-add support sessions like the staff Energizer Workshop were integral to our decision, helping to bring everyone on our journey – Our Year One certification has been achieved and we have already implemented our carbon reduction plan in line with our wider strategy to achieve a low carbon greener game by 2030.”
By measuring their footprint and engaging staff through the results and the energizer session BCFA have recognised several opportunities to create efficiencies in operational costs.
Additionally, by understanding their carbon footprint and implementing a reduction plan to be Net Zero by 2030 places the organisation in a strong position to engage new consumers, but more importantly help to retain, educate, and empower those working or participating in the grassroots game to make operational and infrastructure changes that positively benefit the planet.
Becoming Planet Mark certified has allowed the organisation to implement a robust carbon saving plan that gives measurable targets in key areas that support ambitious aims to be Net Zero by 2030 and help them to align to their commitment to the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework and Race to Zero. Furthermore, by being transparent about their sustainability reporting BCFA will help attract and retain talent, as individuals match their values and behaviours to organisations.
Through Planet Mark, BCFA has protected an area of endangered rainforest thanks to Cool Earth; a charity working alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation. Its pledge through Cool Earth directly supports the Asháninka community in Central Peru.
It has also helped the Eden Project – an educational charity building connections with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work together towards a better future.
To recertify next year Birmingham County Football Association must reduce emissions by 2.5%.
A 5% year-on-year reduction is the target reduction recommended by Planet Mark.
Birmingham County Football Association has made a public commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.