Southampton Football Club has launched its Home Grown Initiative, combining the Club’s commitment to environmental sustainability with its strategy of developing world class talent on the pitch. For every Academy player that makes their First Team debut, the Club will plant 250 trees, with a commitment to offsetting over 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next four years.
The Home Grown Initiative is part of Southampton’s newly launched sustainability strategy, The Halo Effect, coming under the Club’s environmental responsibilities. The Club is also working with University of Southampton to measure its total carbon footprint so that it can accurately offset what is necessary. Having made his debut in October, Dan Nlundulu became the first Academy graduate to be commemorated as part of the Home Grown Initiative, with 250 tonnes of CO2 emissions being offset as a result of his rise to the first team.
The Club is committed to populating Southampton and the wider region with a minimum of 3,000 trees over the course of the next four years, based on three players making their first team debut each season – a number that was surpassed during Saints’ FA Cup win against Shrewsbury Town with Kegs Chauke, Ryan Finnigan, Alex Jankewitz and Caleb Watts all making their first appearances for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side. Complementing the existing tree planting initiatives, which will be led by Southampton City Council, offsetting will be supplemented by taking part in a tree buddy scheme with Carbon Footprint, enabling the Club to offset any unavoidable emissions, including player travel for away games.
Based on the projection over the next four years, the Club will offset 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions through planting trees in the local area, as well as preserving 3,000 trees overseas, helping the Club to achieve carbon neutral status by 2030. The University is carrying out a research project, due to be completed by April 2021, to calculate the Club’s carbon footprint over a three-year period which will allow the Club to understand the full scope of its emissions, in order to plan and measure the changes that are needed to become carbon neutral.
Professor Simon Kemp, who is leading the University’s work with the Club, said: “We’re excited to be working with Southampton Football Club, which is clearly committed to reducing the sustainability impact of its activities, both on and off the pitch. “The Club’s dedication to reducing its carbon footprint is very much aligned to the University of Southampton’s own Sustainability Strategy, and this project fulfils a key role for our Environmental Management students who are developing their own expertise in both science and business to contribute to Southampton’s green and sustainable future.”
On the launch of the Home Grown Initiative, Tim Greenwell, Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Southampton FC, said: “We’re proud to launch the Home Grown Initiative as a unique means of combining our commitment to sustainability with our Club’s reputation for developing world class talent on the pitch. “Sustainability has always been important to us but it’s now being further embedded into the Club’s culture, values and behaviours across all sites and departments. Everyone now has a role to play to help Southampton reach its goal of achieving carbon neutral status by 2030 from players, coaches and staff at the Club.”
Source: University of Southampton