Edgbaston to stage first sustainable international match day

Credit: Edgbaston

Edgbaston Stadium is set to stage its first sustainable international match day after announcing the sold out Men’s Vitality IT20 against New Zealand on Sunday 3 September as its Go Green Game.

Described by organisers as the the first sustainable game of its kind in UK cricket, the day will see a focus on cutting emissions across all scopes of the ground’s footprint.

Edgbaston’s Sustainability Manager Lydia Carrington commented: “The aim of the Go Green Game is not only to reduce our emissions but to raise awareness amongst staff, spectators and our community of the influence the sporting and event industry can have on sustainability and climate change.

“It’s part of our Edgbaston 4 Sustainability pledge because we want to operate the most sustainable cricket stadium in the UK.

“There will be improved recycling facilities at the game, increased vegetarian and vegan food – including produce from Edgbaston’s own allotment – plus we’re working with the ECB to minimize the environmental impact of players.

“We have our sustainability partners, Drax and National Express, providing renewable energy and public transport services, 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.”

The stadium has underlined its green credentials in the last 12 months after reducing waste by a third, running kitchens on 80 per cent locally sourced produce, rolling out a low-energy LED light project, and continued use of e-cups that’s prevented 562,000 plastic alternatives being wasted.

But initiatives being deployed for the Blackcaps’ visit on 3 September will further drive down emissions and the match’s carbon footprint, whilst aiming to raise sustainability awareness amongst fans and the wider community.

Spectators are encouraged to use public transport and the Club is working with National Express West Midlands to provide additional services and free travel for ticket holders on the company’s buses and shuttle buses to the stadium.

There will be a free National Express West Midlands shuttle (number 501) from New Street station, plus extra cycle racks and provision for e-bikes and e-scooters.

More volunteers will be positioned on walking and cycle routes to direct people to the ground and there will be improved signage from the city centre.

The stadium has also secured solar power for September – with electricity coming from a 100 per cent local solar power supply – to ensure preparation days, matchday and clean-up days for the IT20 are covered by renewable energy.

The Forecast, Reduce and Reconcile methodology that Edgbaston and Net Zero Now are following mirrors that used by Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 and Paris Olympics 2024 and described as an effective way to manage the climate impact of sporting events.

Emily Tradd from Net Zero Now, added: “Games like Edgbaston’s IT20 attract global attention and represent an important step towards reducing professional sport’s contribution to climate change.

“Warwickshire County Cricket Club is taking the initiative to dramatically reduce the overall footprint of their Go Green Game at Edgbaston, engaging fans, teams and staff and investing in certified carbon credits equivalent to the forecast emissions from match day.

“The experience gained from the Go Green Game will be used as the foundation for a longer-term strategy to reach Net Zero by 2030.

“With estimates of the professional sporting industries’ global footprint coming in at around 30 million tonnes of CO2e annually, it is essential that a coherent and consistent approach to measurement and reduction is developed, to provide all clubs with the confidence to take action.”

General admission tickets for this match are sold out, but a small number of seats on the Seat Unique Terrace and hospitality packages are still available from the official provider, Keith Prowse.