Bristol City has become the first club to earn GreenCode Accreditation in the EFL Green Clubs scheme. 

GreenCode is an environmental accreditation company which assesses clubs across 26 environmental and sustainability criteria. The league table has been published over recent years, with clubs vying for the top spot: Football & climate: Which EFL clubs are the most sustainable? - BBC Sport. Assessing the teams and working with them over recent years, the owners of the GreenCode scheme have been helping EFL clubs improve their environmental credentials in various ways.

However, it takes 76 points to reach the goal of GreenCode Accreditation, and Bristol City is the first club to make the grade since the launch of the scheme in 2021. The club achieved an impressive score of 80, thanks to its group-wide sustainability initiative, Project Whitebeam.

Project Whitebeam is a joint initiative between Bristol City, Bristol Bears, Bristol Flyers, Ashton Gate Stadium and Bristol Sport to recognise, measure and mitigate their collective impact on the environment. The clubs have signed up to the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework with Race to Zero targets of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and being net zero by 2040. 

To achieve this milestone, they have rolled out various initiatives, for example, Ashton Gate uses Self-Destruct Cups which can be recycled but if leaked into the environment will turn into earth-friendly wax within two years – leaving no toxins or microplastics; Ashton Gate also generates over 100,000kWh of electricity through solar panels, uses water saving devices, and ensures zero waste to landfill. Subsidised bus travel helps keep fans 'on side', and has significantly cut the carbon footprint of supporters traveling to the ground. And the food they eat doesn't travel far either, as over 50% of the food and drink served in the stadium has been sourced from less than 12 miles away, with vegetarian and vegan food available at all concessions. Surplus matchday food is donated to a women’s homeless shelter less than a mile away. For away games, members of club staff deliver food from the team hotel to shelters for the homeless and refuges in the local area of the opponent City are playing against. Impressive stuff!

And the plaudits keep coming, as Bristol City has received further recognition for their environmental efforts, winning EFL Green Club of the Year in 2023 and the Football Supporters’ Association Climate Action Award, and were ranked as the Championship’s most sustainable club by Sport Positive. So many congratulations to the team for all its continuing efforts, which are really paying dividends.  

Appropriately named Forest Green Rovers, widely acknowledged as the greenest club in football, has also been ahead of the game since the launch of the scheme.  It shouldn't be long before they, and more teams, gain accredited status too.

Click here for more information on Bristol City’s Project Whitebeam.