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Birmingham County FA launches Crowdfund appeal for football carbon literacy programme

March 01 2023 - News Release News Editorial

Birmingham County Football Association are one of the largest regional governing bodies in the English Football Associations network of 49 organisations. Unlike the name suggests we cover the 3 main cities in the West Midlands, namely Birmingham, Wolverhampton & Coventry but our reach extends into the Black Country, Walsall, Warwickshire, Tamworth and into East Staffordshire.

Birmingham County FA launches Crowdfund appeal for football carbon literacy programme

Our membership includes 1200 football clubs, 7 of which are professional, but the majority fall under what is more commonly known as “Grassroots”. This number of clubs equates to 5200 teams, 1200 match officials, 25,000 volunteers & coaches and upwards of 80,000 players regularly participating in all formats of the game. Within the region over 48,000 affiliated games happen each season.

The Economic Report for Football published by the Football Association in 2019 estimated that for our region, through social & economic value grassroots football generated c.£522 million to the local economy each season

In June 2021, we proudly launched Save Today, Play Tomorrow the first-of-its-kind sustainability programme in the UK that looks to empower & engender grassroots football to support the ambitious goal of creating a low-carbon greener game across the region.

As a local governing body, we recognise the need to act now to ensure the beautiful game significantly reduces its environmental impact, whilst helping to educate those involved in football at all levels to make informed decisions that will shape how much future generations will be able to enjoy and sustain the game in the long term.

The programme is made up of 4 workstreams that are aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development  Goals, these are Health & Wellbeing, Positive Education, Climate Action & Reconnecting  Football with Nature (Bio-Diversity).

We know from our own research that over 86% of clubs in the region want to become more sustainable, but with such a complex topic knowing where to start or what to tackle first can eventually become a barrier doing anything.

This is why we have developed an accredited Carbon Literacy in Grassroots Football course that supports individuals gain a fundamental understanding of climate science coupled with an awareness and confidence to implement more sustainable alternatives at their clubs and in their personal lives.

In the Birmingham County FA region alone we have over 25,000 volunteers that support 5200 teams. If you scale this up across the 49 other County FA’s in the network this presents a huge opportunity to provide relevant training that can bring about meaningful societal change using the vehicle of grassroots football

Over 50,000 learners are now Carbon Literate right across business and industry sectors, but this is the first course of its kind within football. Each individual is that completes the course is contributing to the 100,000 carbon saving actions already undertaken which it is estimated to have saved 180,000 tonnes of co2e.

The course is available to all clubs and their volunteers over the coming weeks with a blend of online sessions and in-person workshops.

Given the current cost of living crisis the ability for volunteers to financially afford to book & attend further training has become increasingly difficult. To reduce this barrier the funding generated through this source will be used solely to reduce the cost of the training as close to £10 as possible, this £10 is a standard administration fee charged per learner from Carbon Literacy for every course.

We have negotiated a heavily reduced rate from a specialist Carbon Literacy training organisation who can deliver in-person/online and have resource to scale up where necessary, as we have the ambition to make this course available across the country to give all grassroots football clubs the opportunity to become more sustainable.

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