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Reading FC and University of Reading strike up sustainability partnership

By Sam Pither
21 June 2022
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The University of Reading and Reading Football Club are ‘partnering for the planet’ to help the club minimise its environmental impact and improve its sustainability.

The partnership is being announced to mark #ShowYourStripes Day 2022, which sees thousands of people and organisations share a climate change infographic created by University of Reading climate scientist Professor Ed Hawkins every year on the summer solstice.

The university will support Reading FC to deliver a 10-point plan to reduce the club’s carbon footprint, including considering alternative energy options at its stadium and offering fans more opportunities to recycle on match days.

Professor Hawkins said: “I love that Reading FC is using the climate stripes to start its own conversation around sustainability and raise awareness of their important message among its large fanbase.

“The steps the club is seeking to take are positive and we are pleased as a University to be joining forces with people across Reading in a new way to make the town greener.”

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Members of the University’s sustainability team held a workshop at Reading’s Select Car Leasing Stadium in May to identify opportunities for the club to improve its sustainability and build upon what it is already doing well.

The club’s ground staff already use electric mowers to maintain its pitches, a transition towards LED lighting at both the stadium and training ground complex is under way, and matchday bus travel is heavily subsidised to encourage fans to leave their cars at home.

As a result of the workshops, the club will embark on a range of initiatives, including:

  • Examining how to reduce carbon emissions in daily and matchday operations
  • Exploring opportunities to use technologies that generate renewable electricity or heat at the stadium and training ground
  • Working with Principal Partner, Select Car Leasing, to establish the viability of installing EV charging points
  • Improving cycle facilities for supporters and publicising them better
  • Presenting home and away fans with the knowledge and the tools to recycle within the concourses
  • Reducing paper use, recycling glass bottles, and minimising food waste levels at the stadium
  • Proactively monitoring the water, electricity and gas the club uses as an organisation
  • Implementing reusable or recyclable cup solutions from the stadium service kiosks
  • Sourcing food and supplies more carefully and sustainably
  • Educating supporters and key stakeholders in sustainability best practice

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Tim Kilpatrick, Commercial Director at Reading Football Club, said: “This is the beginning of a long journey, not an ego-trip. We may not be perfect but, much like the majority of our fans in our stands, we can be better and help achieve a brighter future for our planet.

“We hope this partnership inspires more climate conversations and that through action at the stadium and the buy in from Reading fans everywhere, we can all play our part.”

The climate stripes infographics visually demonstrate how temperatures around the world have risen in recent decades. Images depicting the change in temperatures in almost every country, as well as some UK counties can be downloaded from showyourstripes.info.

The Climate Strips infographic for Berkshire

The #ShowYourStripes campaign has been supported by UN Climate Change, the World Meteorological Organisation and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who used the stripes at COP26 in Glasgow last November. A new book on climate change by Greta Thunberg also features the stripes on its cover.

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