The football club is making good headway in its quest to become more environmentally sustainable both on and off the pitch.
The Robins have been ranked seventh out of the 24 League Two clubs in Sport Positive’s latest sustainability matrix table, which measures every sides ‘green’ credentials and ranks them against each other.
The objective of Sport Positive leagues are to shine a light on activities that football clubs are undertaking in the realm of environmental sustainability, as well as to show where additional progress could be made going forward.
They look at operational impacts such as water, waste, energy, transport, food, education and policies, sharing this information on positive change to inspire and encourage increased action and ambition.
Sport Positive have been collating data from every EFL club, as well as those in the Premier League, German Bundesliga and French Ligue 1 for the past 11 months, with the data released this week.
With our focus around sustainability and quest for a much ‘greener’ club still in its relative infancy, we’re delighted with our top ten ranking this term.
To add to this, we’ve also come 29th out the 72 EFL clubs following Sport Positives latest findings.
Here are some of the contributing factors to our latest successes:
• Signed up to EFL's Green Clubs initiative.
• Now the club and Supporters Trust have ownership of the stadium, solar panels and renewable energy will be considered.
• The club’s Maintenance Manager only turns the floodlights on at the last minute prior to kick off on a match day. Electric mowers have been trialled. At the end of every day, staff ensure all heating and lights are turned off.
• Train travel to the County Ground is promoted on the club’s website. Coaches to away games are provided throughout the season by the Supporters Club’s branch SAS Travel.
• The Swindon Town Football Club Supporters Trust has previously held surveys on how supporters travel to the stadium. The last survey took place in Q4 2022. The Swindon Town Football Club Official Supporters Club has previously reached out to the fanbase and encouraged supporters to travel together on matchdays through car sharing.
• Segregated waste and recycling collection bins are located across the stadium to ensure the club achieves maximum recycling and minimises its general waste. Remaining food from matchdays are given to the Swindon Food Collective and local homeless hostels.
• Water saving devices have been installed in the County Ground’s bathrooms and dressing rooms. Sixty-one urinals which used 200,000 litres of water a day were altered to automatically flush four times an hour, rather than 15, and only when a motion sensor detects they have been used. The ground’s 53 toilets were fitted with devices to save more than two pints of water every time they are flushed.
• Vegan food options are available in kiosks through suppliers Creed & Proper Cornish. Options include vegan sausage rolls and vegan pizza rolls. In hospitality, the club offers a vegan option which changes each game. First team staff and academy staff can request vegan options which will change for each sitting.
• Using an organic-based approach for the County Ground’s fertilisation plan.
• The Foundation works with a number of local schools to run workshops and social action projects based around sustainability. These have led to initiatives such as tree planting, litter picking and more.
• The Community Foundation promoted Planet League’s ‘Planet League Cup’ competition on its Facebook page.
• In 2022, The Foundation launched ‘The Green League’ which is a multifaceted sustainability project. The flagship project of The Green League was ‘Earth Missions’, which engaged participants to complete challenges linked to improving habits and behaviours relating to saving water and electricity.
Town Chief Executive, Rob Angus, said: “We’re really pleased with the latest Sport Positive findings, which have ranked us pretty highly considering we are in the early stages of our ‘green’ voyage.
“We’re under no illusion there is lots more work to do and we’re constantly exploring new ways we can help the environment and reduce wastage here at the County Ground, as well as building on the initiatives we’ve already launched.
“All of this work has financial benefits too, which will certainly help us in the long run.
“We continue to work closely with our Chief Sustainability Officer and former player Michael Doughty who is doing a great job in supporting us on our journey, introducing new schemes across the club and working with our local community, which is also key for us.”