Aberdeen FC to eliminate over 2,800 tonnes of CO2 by 2030

Aberdeen FC are aiming to slash emissions by 50%, equivalent to the energy consumption of around 2,250 households, through their continued work with Positive Planet.

Positive Planet has completed a study of Aberdeen FC’s carbon footprint as independent sustainability experts, as part of the club’s strategy to halve its greenhouse gas emissions.

Positive Planet, the Club’s Official Net Zero Advisory Partner, found that the club generates around 5,655 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, which is equal to the annual energy consumption of around 4,500 households.

In March 2022, the Club signed up to the UN Sports for Climate Change Framework and made a clear commitment to tackling climate change by setting a target of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 with the overall aim of becoming carbon neutral.

Positive Planet, which helps organisations achieve their sustainability goals, uses the Green House Gas (GHG) protocol for calculating organisations’ carbon footprints and has been working closely with the Club over the past 12 months to measure all its emissions. The study also took into consideration fan travel over the course of a season.

“Professional football has a significant and highly influential role to play in the transition to a low-carbon future. With such fierce rivalries in sports, creating an element of competition around sustainability could be key to accelerating the shift. There are some self-proclaimed “greenest” teams in Scotland and England. We can’t compare Aberdeen FC directly with these clubs as there is little transparency around carbon footprints.

One or two SPFL clubs have some verifiable data and several EPL Clubs have published data in relation to their carbon footprint but very few disclose their full greenhouse gas inventory. The race for Scotland’s most sustainable Club would gain momentum if there was increased transparency. With its current and future commitments, including its approach to recycling water and waste, sustainable travel for both players and fans, along with the Club’s commitment to carbon literacy training for its staff, Aberdeen is leading by example and we hope more clubs will follow in their footsteps in the battle against climate change.”

Stephen Henry of Positive Planet

Working closely with Positive Planet, the Club is developing an action plan with short, medium and long-term goals which will be validated by the Science Based Target Institute.

The plan involves all parts of the Club, from stadium and football operations, commercial sales and corporate hospitality through to fan engagement and travel and all members of staff at Aberdeen FC have now received carbon literacy training which has increased understanding of their impact on the environment and how to reduce it.

The first priorities in the plan were to install new LED floodlights, which have already resulted in major emissions and costs savings while meeting the latest UEFA requirements.

The Club has also invested in electric vehicles and lawnmowers for the ground staff and is to introduce an employee salary sacrifice electric vehicle scheme and an enhanced waste management programme which includes recycling grass, food, equipment, paper, cardboard and plastics.

Aberdeen FC

“Without knowing where you’re starting from, you can’t measure progress which is why we asked Positive Planet to calculate our carbon footprint. We wanted to find out exactly how many emissions we were responsible for and how they were generated so that we could decide the best course of action to take to reduce them. Some may not see this as a priority for a football club, but we firmly believe we have a responsibility to tackle climate change and protect our planet for the next generation. This is the start of our journey to net zero and we hope our supporters will join us in making a tangible and measurable impact.”

Alan Burrows, AFC chief executive
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