Sport Positive Leagues Release EFL Matrix For First Time
29th March 2023, London: For the first time, Sport Positive Leagues has collated a large cross section of information on the environmental sustainability efforts of English Football League (EFL) Championship, League One and League Two football clubs, releasing it today via the Sport Positive Leagues EFL 2022 Matrix.
As well as sharing information and rankings for individual division, Sport Positive has also collated this into a combined league, unifying all EFL Championship, League One and League Two club information into one overall matrix.
In what comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody, Forest Green Rovers – named by FIFA as ‘the greenest football club in the world’ in 2017 – takes first place position in both in League One and the combined league, with a perfect score, showing their holistic commitment to environmental sustainability through every part of the organisation.
The top three clubs across each individual division are:
- Championship: Bristol City (1st), Norwich City (2nd), Watford (3rd)
- League One: Forest Green Rovers (1st), Plymouth Argyle (2nd), Charlton Athletic (3rd)
- League Two: Rochdale (Joint 1st), Crewe Alexandra (Joint 1st) and Grimsby Town (3rd)
All information about the clubs efforts and the entire Sport Positive Leagues EFL matrix can be viewed here
Reacting to the release, Forest Green Rovers Chair, Dale Vince commented “It’s great to see the extent to which sustainability in football has become a thing, almost but not yet – an accepted part of the game. Ten years ago we were a lone voice with a radical idea, today it’s fast becoming normal, not just in English football but internationally too – and indeed the whole world of sport. Football clubs have the same responsibility as everyone else to take care of their impact on the world – but we also have a unique opportunity, few others have – a platform from which to inform and influence billions of people. That’s happening now”
Club Director of Bristol City, Gavin Marshall said “We’re pleased to be among the clubs leading change across football. We recognise that we have an impact and are working hard to mitigate that across a number of key areas. Sport clearly has a long way to go but it feels like clubs are finally waking up to the challenge.”
In regard to the work that clubs are doing in this space, Sport Positive Founder Claire Poole commented, “Across all three divisions there are great examples of leadership from many EFL clubs, we congratulate those clubs for their efforts towards a sustainable future.”
She went on “For those clubs that aren’t as far ahead, we hope that the publication of this information raises awareness, and that support and progress continues apace. The EFL’s Green Clubs scheme has provided a framework for clubs to build upon and develop alongside their own initiatives. Football provides such an incredible platform to drive collective action in tackling the climate crisis, and as the recent IPCC report highlighted, we are running out of time – but the power is in our hands.”
Sport Positive Leagues have endeavoured to share environmental sustainability information on football clubs in an easily digestible matrix format since 2019, having done three editions of Sport Positive Leagues focussed on Premier League clubs, one on Bundesliga clubs and one on Ligue 1 clubs, with others in progress.
To date, Sport Positive has not published it’s matrices unless every club has collaborated with the work. Unfortunately after nearly a year of work, some EFL clubs were unable to engage, so Sport Positive made the first time, difficult decision to publish anyway – to deliver on commitment to the 60%+ of clubs that did share their environmental sustainability efforts. Any club that did not share or verify the information that Sport Positive research found is visibly denoted in the matrix. A very small number of clubs advised they did not wish to take part in the workstream, so we have honoured their request and not shared any information on these clubs, this is also clearly denoted.
The categories that clubs are evaluated on for this edition of Sport Positive Leagues Matrix include: commitment and policy, clean energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, waste management, single use plastic reduction/removal, water efficiency, the availability of low-carbon/plant based food, biodiversity, education and communications/engagement.
These Leagues are released every year, and each year the categories that clubs are evaluated on, and points attributed, evolve – making it more difficult to reach the maximum points unless a clubs is working continually, strategically and holistically, with real ambition, across their entire organisation and properties. Whilst they are only released once a year, clubs can update Sport Positive on their efforts at any time, and the website will be updated.
Sport Positive Leagues have released a short FAQ paper to answer questions that the organisation receives in regard to this work. That paper can be accessed here.
Nearly every EFL club is doing positive work in the area of environmental sustainability in some way and the EFL is supporting clubs with their practices via its EFL Green Clubs accreditation scheme. For more information on Sport Positive visit the website for full information: www.sportpostiveleagues.com
Sport Positive Leagues are part of the Sport Positive group, who also run the annual Sport Positive Summit in collaboration with UNFCCC and IOC, host the The Climate of Sport podcast, as well as supporting the global sports industry towards increased action and ambition on climate change, sustainability, environmental justice and biodiversity.
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