Premier League still has work to do to meet eco targets

  • More than half of clubs use totally clean energy
  • Industry report shows significant improvement
  • Still some way to go to meet eco-targets
  • Just five clubs currently use solar power
Sustainability in football has markedly improved.

Premier League clubs still have work to do to meet their environmental targets, despite more than half generating 100% of their energy from renewable sources, according to a report looking at the sustainability practices of top tier football. 

Sport Positive’s Premier League Clubs Environmental Sustainability Report said that 13 of the league’s 20 clubs use entirely renewable energy sources either at their stadium, training ground or academy.

In a statement, the company said football clubs’ commitment had “markedly improved” in the past five years, but there is “much work still to do”. 

“The report shows that all 20 current clubs have some kind of sustainability policy, commitment, strategy or statement in place,” the company said. 

Earlier in 2024, the Premier League launched its Environmental Sustainability Commitment, which will see each club developing a robust environmental sustainability policy, by the end of the 2024/25 season.

Under this commitment, clubs must also develop a greenhouse gas emissions dataset, including scope 1, 2 and 3, by the end of the 2025/26 season.

Those clubs that use 100% renewable energy are Arsenal, Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Among the seven remaining clubs, five currently partially use renewable energy sources, with just Nottingham Forest and Luton Town saying they currently don’t use any.

The five other clubs – Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Brentford, all say they have taken measures to ramp up their use of renewable energy, but haven’t given a specific date by which they plan to reach 100%.

For example, Manchester United, recently named the world’s most valuable football club at £4.9 billion, generates 40% of its energy from renewable sources and uses air source heat pumps at its women’s team’s training ground.

Newcastle United also generates about 40% of its energy from renewable sources – which is monitored by an external partner.

Similarly, Aston Villa said electricity accounts for 70% of its total energy, and that its supply is 100% Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) backed. 

Brentford are planning to use biogas generated from organic material, which the club said would be a transition fuel as it moves towards renewables. 

In total, just six Premier League clubs use clean energy generation technology at their stadium, training ground or academy, and only five use solar power, which could be a missed opportunity for some as they aim to meet their carbon cutting targets.

The clubs currently using solar power to generate clean energy are Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur. Newcastle United use combined heat and power (CHP). 

Written by:
Max joined The Eco Experts as content manager in February 2024. He has written about sustainability issues across numerous industries, including maritime, supply chain, finance, mining and retail. He has also written for  City AM, The Morning Star and the Daily Express.
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