Go Green Game: Edgbaston Stadium leading cricket’s sustainability drive
‘Cricket is one of the sports most at risk from climate change, so it is right we are leading the charge to change attitudes,’ said Edgbaston operations director Claire Daniel as she prepares to host the stadium’s first sustainable international match day.
The Men’s Vitality IT20 against New Zealand on Sunday 3 September has been identified as Edgbaston’s ‘Go Green Game’. It is the first sustainable game of its kind in UK cricket and will see a focus on cutting emissions across all scopes of the ground’s footprint.
‘Our Go Green Game will showcase all the positive changes we have made to become a more sustainable venue,’ added Claire.
‘That is everything from securing exclusively wind, hydro and solar energy for the game and laying on free National Express West Midlands shuttle buses from Birmingham New Street station for ticket holders, to compostable food packaging made from seaweed and ‘seed paper’ four and six cards that fans can take away and plant to grow wildflowers.
‘We are passionate about playing our part. The nature of a weather dependent sport like cricket is that we are more susceptible to climate change so it is important we are driving change and encouraging our fans, staff and players to also change thinking and behaviours.’
The venue’s Edgbaston 4 Sustainability pledge is underpinned by a commitment to become a carbon net zero business by 2030.
Edgbaston and Warwickshire County Cricket Club – which is a member of the British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS) – has already made significant progress.
Improved recycling has reduced waste by a third, hundreds of low energy LED lights have been installed, 95% of food is prepared on-site to cut packaging waste, and continued use of reusable e-cups prevented three million single use plastic alternatives being wasted.
No red meat will be served in hospitality areas during the Go Green Game, spectators will be encouraged to use the free water refill stations around the concourse, and the ECB’s match programme is made from 100% recycled paper.
Lydia Carrington, Edgbaston’s sustainability lead, added: ‘The aim of the Go Green Game is not only to reduce our emissions but to raise awareness of the influence the sporting and event industry can have on sustainability and climate change.
‘Our sustainability partners, Drax and National Express West Midlands, are playing an important role in the planning and are working with Net Zero Now to help us forecast the game’s carbon footprint, identify opportunities to reduce it, and then measure the actual footprint after the game and produce a report.
‘Data on everything from the number of meals and drinks served to floodlight usage, water consumption and every spectator’s travel to the stadium will be factored in.
‘We want to become the world’s most sustainable cricket business and the Go Green Game is part of our plan to achieve that goal.’
More volunteers will be positioned on walking and cycle routes to direct people to the ground – plus more cycle racks at Edgbaston – and there will be improved signage from the city centre.