Forest Green Rovers, thought to be the world’s first carbon-neutral soccer club, has reached League One for the first time ever.
Based in Gloucestershire, the team is committed to sustainability. The players eat vegan food, solar panels power the stadium, and the pitch is organic and pesticide-free.
And, on the way to their League One qualifying match (where they drew with Bristol Rovers), the team traveled in an electric van.
League One is part of the English Football League (EFL). The oldest competition of its kind in the world, it has three leagues: Championship, League One, and League Two. (The Premier League is above the EFL.)
Forest Green Rovers has been around for more than 130 years. But for most of that time, it’s been seen as a local village team. However, in the last five years, things have changed, and the environment-focused football club has been playing in League Two.
Environmentally friendly football team
Environmentalist and entrepreneur Dale Vince owns Forest Green Rovers. Back in the 1990s, he founded the green energy firm Ecotricity with one single windmill in Gloucestershire. Now, the company supplies around 200,000 homes across the country.
Earlier this month, Vince announced he would be stepping away from Ecotricity to focus on a political career. Regarding the UK’s shift to Net Zero, he told the BBC: “What we lack are politicians that get it and the policies that will help make it happen faster.”
Under Vince’s leadership, in 2018, Forest Green Rovers received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change award for climate action.
Vince said at the time: “Plenty of people doubted we could make this improbable combination of a football club and the environment work. But it’s proven to be a powerful combination.”