The Blues are going green. Chelsea Football Club is the first and only soccer team to agree to the Mayor of London’s Green500 campaign and has big plans to reduce its carbon footprint by at least 10 percent over the next two years. Mayor Boris Johnson presented awards at the first Green500 and Better Buildings Partnership awards on June 11 to London organizations in the areas of education, arts, sports, local government, transportation and commercial property.
Chelsea, which hosted the event and received a Silver Award, feels that they can not only make a difference within their own organization, but also can advocate eco-responsibility to the entire Chelsea community of fans. Among the other honorees were the London School of Economics and the Natural History Museum, which both received a Platinum Award for implementing a “zero-waste” program and recycling bins and investing in a new energy system and using two hybrid cars, respectively.
Chelsea has already undertaken several environmental renovations to its Cobham training facility where the squad practices. A new turf roof with brass cladding will help keep temperature constant, along with an automatic curtain system that opens and closes depending on sunlight. A castle-like moat around the building will help direct sunlight into the basement to reduce energy consumption. New ventilation units capture wasted heat and cold air and recycle it back through the system, and motion-detection lights have been installed throughout the facility. New drink fridges will be time-operated to save energy.
The team will now wash its uniforms at the practice site in new water-saving washing machines, and will use colder temperatures to save energy. Other water-saving techniques include installing a water management system for toilets such as motion-detectors and foaming devices, and groundwater and runoff will be collected to irrigate the playing field. Cobham has its own waste recycling program, and recycles 85 percent of its waste.
Chelsea encourages its staff to walk, bike, or take public transportation to work, and has eliminated parking for private vehicles to create bicycle parking spots. Club employees are also encouraged to switch off office televisions, computers, lights, and to not print emails unnecessarily.
But Chelsea is striving to go beyond the workplace by asking its members to act sustainably at home as well. It is asking fans to take public transportation or bike to games and club functions, and will provide free train rides to away games. Chelsea hopes its fans become environmentally aware of their actions, and encourages followers to buy low-emission light bulbs, turn off televisions and lights, and turn down thermostats at home. The club knows that in order to make a large difference in the environment it will need the cooperation of staff, players, fans, and partners. Chelsea is looking to be a leader in widespread collaboration of going green … Now, if only we could get everyone to agree that Frank Lampard is a far better center midfielder than Steven Gerrard!