Edgbaston to stage sustainable international match day
Edgbaston Stadium is set to stage its first sustainable international match day after announcing the sold-out England Men’s Vitality IT20 against New Zealand on September 3 as its Go Green Game.
Over the last year, Edgbaston has reduced its waste by a third, run kitchens on 80% locally sourced produce, rolled out a low-energy LED light project and continued the use of e-cups, which so far has prevented 4.5 million plastic alternatives from going to waste since 2016.
Further initiatives are set to be deployed for the game against New Zealand with the aim of driving down emissions and the match’s carbon footprint.
Spectators will be encouraged to use public transport, and Edgbaston will be working with travel operator National Express West Midlands to provide additional services and free travel for ticket-holders to the stadium. There will be a free National Express West Midlands shuttle from Birmingham New Street station, and the introduction of extra cycle racks to promote other ways of travel. There will also be more volunteers positioned on walking and cycle routes to direct people to the ground, with additional signage from the city centre.
The stadium will also utilise a mix of solar, wind and hydro power in September to ensure preparation days, match day and clean-up days for the IT20 are all covered by locally sourced renewable energy.
“The aim of the Go Green Game is not only to reduce our emissions but to raise awareness amongst staff, spectators and our community of the influence the sporting and event industry can have on sustainability and climate change,” explained Edgbaston’s Sustainability Manager Lydia Carrington.
“It’s part of our Edgbaston 4 Sustainability pledge because we want to operate the most sustainable cricket stadium in the UK. There will be improved recycling facilities at the game, and increased vegetarian and vegan food, plus we’re working with the ECB to minimise the environmental impact of players.
“We have our sustainability partners, Drax and National Express, providing renewable energy and public transport services, and are working with Net Zero Now to help us forecast the game’s carbon footprint, identify opportunities to reduce it, and then measure the actual footprint after the game and produce a report.”
"Games like Edgbaston’s IT20 attract global attention and represent an important step towards reducing professional sport’s contribution to climate change."
Carrington added: “Data on everything from the number of meals and drinks served to floodlight usage, water consumption and every spectator’s travel to the stadium will be factored in.”
Edgbaston and Net Zero Now are following the Forecast, Reduce and Reconcile methodology, which mirrors the same strategy as the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
“Games like Edgbaston’s IT20 attract global attention and represent an important step towards reducing professional sport’s contribution to climate change,” said Net Zero Now’s Emily Tradd.
“Warwickshire County Cricket Club is taking the initiative to dramatically reduce the overall footprint of their Go Green Game at Edgbaston, engaging fans, teams and staff and investing in certified carbon credits equivalent to the forecast emissions from match day. The experience gained from the Go Green Game will be used as the foundation for a longer term strategy to reach net zero by 2030.
“With estimates of the professional sporting industries’ global footprint coming in at around 30 million tonnes of CO2e annually, it is essential that a coherent and consistent approach to measurement and reduction is developed, to provide all clubs with the confidence to take action.”