Yes, we know the connection isn’t obvious, but we think football might play a key part. Why?

Because football is more than just a sport. Everyone can watch it, regardless of gender, culture or race. Its catalytic potential is immense, because above anything else, football offers hope. Football teaches us that hope is not lost until the game actually comes to an end. And this is exactly the attitude we want to encourage towards sustainability.

At present, increasingly international and rapidly expanding football clubs are doing more harm to our planet than they are doing good. Spectator travel, fan paraphernalia and club sponsorship by energy companies and petrostates are all putting unmanageable pressure on the environment. Without radical change, this carbon output will only continue to grow, returning to stab us in the back. The threat of rising temperatures and floods are shaping the trajectory for a world in which football will no longer be played at all.

That’s why we need powerful role models, people who really care, to make this change. Take the Forest Green Rovers, the world’s first UN-certified carbon neutral football club. Located in Gloucestershire, they use 100% renewable energy, offer fans a vegan menu and are currently planning the construction of a new, wooden stadium called Eco Park. Even the grass they play on is sustainable, free from chemicals and cut with a solar-powered lawnmower. They’re bringing football and sustainability into conversation in totally new and exciting ways – and it’s working!

Forest Green Rovers in the first bamboo football kit in the world. Image: Forest Green Rovers

That’s why we need more people on board, leading the way in convincing clubs that it’s possible for football to flourish and be environmentally conscious. Replacing harmful emissions and mindless consumption with greener practices is the only way to preserve the sport for generations to come.