Football and the Environment
Hi there, I`m Jack and I`m a student at the University of Birmingham. More importantly, I`m an absolutely obsessive Forest fan. Some of you may remember I used to post as jack_forest a while back but haven`t done so much recently for one reason or another, despite reading the site several times a day. As part of my third and final year, I have to complete a 10,000 word dissertation on something to do with my degree (Environmental Management). By some miracle I`ve managed to come up with the idea of combining my studies with my love of football and have chosen the following title for my essay: "How large is the carbon footprint of the professional English Football League?" Despite many being PLCs, football clubs do not have to adhere to any of the environmental regulations imposed upon most companies. They can produce as much waste as they like and pollute the area freely. A study done on Ipswich Town in 2006 showed they produced 3200 tonnes of carbon emissions in one season - the equivalent of 2,700 return flights from Belfast to New York. Conservative estimates place the carbon footprint of the professional English football leagues (Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2 combined) at over 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions every season. These figures do not include other emissions created by, for example, the manufacturing of shirts, souvenirs and programmes. There are around 50 UN member states producing less than 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. English football alone, without considering the rest of the world, is clearly very influential environmentally. The source of these emissions is in no small part down to travelling fans, with hundreds of thousands of fans driving to all corners of the country every week to go to matches. My question to you is do you care? I know that many people may show some concern for the environment but can be reluctant to do anything about it unless it is convenient. I want to know whether you think football should be held responsible at all for global climate change? If so, who should be the ones trying to sort it all out? Do you think your club should be helping you to reduce your match-day carbon footprint? This could be by providing public transport free with match ticket purchase, or by something as simple as recycling match-day litter for next week`s programmes. Should you be left to catch the bus and recycle your rubbish of your accord? Should the football club take full responsibility and be forced to abide by environmental law? Should footballing authorities such as FIFA intervene? I would really appreciate your views on any of the above, as well as anything else related that you think is helpful. Any opinion you can give me will be useful for my study! Thanks in advance, Jack.