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Hibernian – The Greenest Club in Scotland – Pledges to Help Climate Action

Posted: 21st February 2020

Hibernian FC today announced its pledge to be “The Greenest Club in Scotland” in support of action to combat climate change – in a move which has been welcomed by the Scottish Government.

The Club has become the first in Scotland to participate in the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework  – and only the second in the UK with Forest Green already signed up. This promotes action in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed by almost 200 countries in 2015.

This means the Club will strive to:

  • Promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Reduce the overall climate impact from sports
  • Use our platforms to educate for climate action
  • Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
  • Advocate for climate change through our communications

The Club already buys 100% renewable electricity, and its waste management recycling efforts are ranked first in Scotland and third in British football behind Forest Green and Manchester United.

As well as being accepted to membership of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework the club is working with Circular Edinburgh on engaging in the circular economy; and will also throw its weight behind the City of Edinburgh Council’s declared aim of making Scotland’s Capital carbon neutral by 2030.

Every aspect of the Club’s activities will be reviewed, with a determination to achieve overall carbon neutrality.

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change Roseanna Cunningham said:

“I welcome Hibernian FC’s pledge to be a leader in helping to combat climate change. The club is setting an excellent example, and as our national game, football – with its unique reach and impact – has a great opportunity to demonstrate leadership on this crucial issue. I hope other football clubs will follow Hibs’ lead.”

Leeann Dempster, Hibernian FC Chief Executive, said: “We are already leading the way in Scottish football in a number of areas in terms of trying to protect our environment, but like almost every other organisation there is much more we can do – and as a high-profile organisation we can help raise awareness of this.

“We are looking at all aspects of our organisation with a view to improving what we do – right across the spectrum from transport to energy to waste. We will do what we can for our own business, and we want to work in partnerships with other organisations – large and small – who want to make a real difference in this area.

“Our pledge is straightforward. We believe the power and appeal of football in Scotland can help provide leadership and momentum. Let’s tackle climate change – it’s a challenge we need to make.”

The Club is:

  • Employing consultants to provide a specialist, accurate and independent picture of our current carbon footprint – including all aspects of our activities including supporter travel to ERS
  • Looking at renewable generation at both HTC and ERS as well as better managing energy use
  • Building in renewable energy sources to future development plans
  • Moving to more sustainable stadium and training centre lighting using LED
  • Working with partners to create EV charging points at ERS and HTC
  • Investigating the potential of rainwater harvesting
  • Building in further improvements to our waste management systems – already operating at zero to landfill
  • Working with Circular Edinburgh on actively engaging in the circular economy – through innovating to keep goods and materials in active use rather than the current linear economic model of make, use and dispose
  • Working to eradicate single use plastics at Easter Road Stadium
  • Looking to potential carbon offsetting opportunities at Hibernian Training Centre, as well as community gardening, bee-keeping and shared composting opportunities
  • Seeking to create partnerships with public transport providers to encourage more fans to leave their cars at home when they travel to matches at Easter Road

Leeann added: “Our new majority shareholder and Chairman, Ron Gordon, is determined that the Club will always seek to be an exemplar of responsible conduct, serving our community, and he is 100% supportive of this initiative.

“We will be engaging with the wider business and sporting community in Edinburgh to see how we can forge partnerships that will maximise the impact we can all have in this vitally important area.”

BAM Energy is working with Hibernian to implement positive actions that achieve environmental sustainability and combat climate change. Reid Cunningham, Strategic Development Director for BAM Energy, said: “As a partner to Hibs, BAM is able to share its UK and European experience to achieve great things and make Hibs a leader in climate action.”

Stirling Scott, National Account Manager of Environmental Waste Controls, the Club’s waste management contractor, added: “We are midway through our second season partnering with Hibs and we continue to work closely together to ensure all generated waste is disposed of via recycling and re-use. By changing methods of waste storage at Easter Road we have also been able to reduce waste transportation and therefore seen a reduction in the carbon footprint. As the partnership continues to develop, we will see Hibs become even greener than they are today.”

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