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POC's COP26 Countdown | The English Football League launches EFL Green Clubs initiative

Tue 12 Oct 2021 | 11:27 am GMT
Rob Hutchins | Products of Change Writer

The EFL partners with GreenCode

The English Football League has joined forces with the environmental accreditation scheme, GreenCode, to ‘put football clubs front and centre’ of the sectors doing their bit for the planet. With the UK soon to become the world’s focal point for sustainable development when COP26 lands in Glasgow next month, Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston has championed a new scheme to be launched by the EFL called for working to support clubs across the country improve their environmental practices. Called EFL Green Clubs, the programme will aim to share its expertise across the League’s 72 members and will include an accreditation scheme that will benchmark clubs’ environmental rating, provide bespoke guidance and practical advice to help clubs implement change. Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, said: “COP26 in Glasgow is now just around the corner and the EFL Green Clubs initiative rightly puts football clubs front and centre of those sectors doing their bit for the planet.” GreenCode is a new environmental accreditation scheme born from the work of the environmentalist, Dale Vince and the team at Forest Green Rovers – who pioneered work at the League Two Club to help it become recognised by the UN and FIFA as the world’s greenest football club. Through EFL Green Clubs, the English Football League will provide funding to enable any club to access the scheme. The EFL will also be undertaking a GreenCode assessment to help improve its own environmental practice. Participating clubs will receive an independent assessment of their environmental credentials. The goal will be to achieve a GC Mark. On top of all of this, the EFL Trust – the charitable arm of the EFL – will be implementing a Sustainable Development Coordinator and will be encouraging all Club Community Organisations to employ a Sustainable Development Officer through the extended Kickstart programme. Trevor Birch, EFL Chief Executive, said: “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 Clubs in the EFL are already taking practical steps towards becoming more sustainable. “Using the expertise of the global leader in our ranks, we hope the 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,” continued Birch. Dale Vince, founder of GreenCode, added: “GreenCode distils everything we’ve learned from a decade of greening up Forest Green Rovers – and creating the global standard in sustainability. “We’re here to help anybody on the road to net zero – that’s what GreenCode is for. We’re excited to get this initiative off the ground and the icing on the cake for us is to be launching with our very own league, the EFL. “By embracing sustainability as an issue and a collective responsibility serves as a perfect example to others.”
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