Forest Green Rovers have beaten Manchester City and Lords Cricket Ground to be awarded the first ever ‘Green Heart Hero’ Sustainability in Sport Award, by the Climate Coalition at a ceremony in Parliament.
Chief executive Helen Taylor picked up the award at the ceremony in London last night, which recognises the club’s ambitious approach to put the environment and sustainability at the core of the football club.
The awards – which range from accolades for green schools or businesses to sustainable sports projects – were presented by high-profile figures such as broadcaster Clive Anderson and historian Bettany Hughes as part of the Show The Love campaign from The Climate Coalition.
Dale Vince, chairman of Forest Green Rovers said: “Sustainability and sport are two words that aren’t often seen together, but at FGR we’re bridging that gap and are demonstrating that there is another way.
“We’re really delighted to have our work recognised by the Climate Coalition – it’s another big achievement for the club in what is proving to be a momentous year for us, as we’ve been promoted to the Football League, named by FIFA as the world’s greenest football club and spoken at the UN.”
Since taking over the club in 2010, Dale Vince has introduced a host of environmental initiatives – including launching a fully vegan menu, installing solar panels, creating an organic pitch and using solar powered robot lawnmower.
The ‘Green Heart Hero Awards’ are the brainchild of The Climate Coalition – a group of more than 130 organisations representing over 15 million people ranging from the RSPB, WWF, Women’s Institute and the Woodland Trust, to aid agencies such as CAFOD, Tearfund and Christian Aid.
The awards are the culmination of events by The Climate Coalition to ‘Show The Love’ and celebrate the things we love which are at risk from climate change – whether sports rained off or natural beauty spots damaged by increased flooding.
Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, who opened the event, said: “I’m so delighted to be supporting the first Green Heart Hero Awards in the grand rooms of Speaker’s House, which show how committed people across the country are in helping to protect the people, wildlife and places they love from climate change.
“From individuals to businesses, more and more people are helping with the transition to cleaner and more secure energy and lower carbon ways of living and working. I wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity to congratulate their incredible work.
“The nominations for these awards have shown just how committed and passionate we can be at tackling climate change and I am sure that they will provide the inspiration for even more people to get involved.”
The Climate Coalition is holding events throughout the year for people to get involved with. Find out more at: theclimatecoalition.org.