On the right road

Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney

At the start of the 2021/22 season, we started to tell our story of our road to becoming a more sustainable football club.

Those of you who are regular readers will, hopefully, have enjoyed seeing the steps that your club is taking. But the road to being more sustainable, and the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral and carbon net zero, is a long one.

For those of you unfamiliar with those terms, they have very similar meanings, being that a company is removing as much carbon from the environment as they are putting in. This can be done in several ways but with the same target: to try to prevent the damage caused to our planet by our business activities. To be truly carbon net zero, Arsenal must actively reduce its emissions year on year, for being carbon net zero isn’t a one-off transaction, it is a commitment that affects every part of the club. Like trying to win football matches and be the best team in the league, it isn’t achieved overnight and it isn’t completed with one trophy.

To start the whole journey, we need to know what our emissions are now. That is done by calculating the carbon footprint. The carbon footprint looks at emissions caused during day to day operations, including gas and electricity. Beyond that travel – by players, fans and the business in general – also needs to be considered. There are many other activities that cause emissions that we will also need to measure. Once the footprint is complete, we know where we are starting from and where we want to go.

That’s the easy bit. How we get there is the tricky part! There aren’t solutions for everything and technology is forever changing. We need to be looking at how we can improve, how we can push to become a more sustainable club. We will be looking at our gas and electricity consumption in great detail and looking at further ways we can reduce those. We have already started this process and, working closely with our friends at Octopus Energy, we will be making changes across all our sites.

Carbon emissions aren’t the only contributor to the issues we’re seeing around the planet. You may have read about the work we have been doing with the waste across the club in previous match-day programmes.

We will continue to do this and are seeking ways to further reduce our waste. The waste hierarchy, a guidance towards better waste management, states that we should be reducing our waste first, before re-using and then finally recycling. So a robust recycling system is great, but we need to do better in reducing our waste volume and be better at reusing products. moving away from the single-use products that fill our shops and litter our streets. Our reusable pint cup, which we introduced with our beer partner Camden Town
Brewery, was a great starting point as we try to move away from just recycling. We’re looking at how we can apply this model across our club.

What is so exciting about this journey is that we aren’t on it on our own. Arsenal is a global family and we can all play our part. Our fans, our partners, our staff and our suppliers all need to come together to achieve something that we can all be proud of.

As with the performance on the pitch, we want to be the best. Arsenal is built on solid foundations of being innovative, creative and pushing the boundaries. Sustainability is being met with the same attitude. The days are long gone where we can sit back and do nothing and sitting back and doing nothing isn’t in our DNA.

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