Policy and Commitment
- Launched Project Whitebeam – a group-wide project between the club, Bristol Bears Rugby Club, Bristol Flyers Basketball Club, Ashton Gate Stadium and Bristol Sport, to tackle all areas of environmental sustainability. The project is broken down into five distinct areas; climate change, waste, water, biodiversity and air quality. Further science-based policies will be developed in each of these key areas over future years. Project Whitebeam can be viewed on the club’s website here: https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/city-launch-project-whitebeam/
- Signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and high ambition track with Race to Zero targets of a 50% reduction of CO2e by 2030 and net zero by 2040.
- Appointed JRP Solutions to provide a carbon audit, including scope 3 emissions. Benchmark year is set as 2022/23.
- Is an EFL Green Club member.
- The Ashton Gate Stadium has 750m2 of solar panels on the Lansdown Stand roof. These are outperforming their design and generating around 113,415kwh per year. All energy produced by the solar array is consumed on-site at the Ashton Gate Stadium. The stadium’s carbon emissions have been reduced by 20 percent with an estimated cost savings of £150,000 predicted over 20 years. The stadium design to reach those savings will save 124 tonnes of carbon per year.
- The Robins High Performance Centre (Robins HPC) incorporates renewable energy in the form of the latest heat pump technology. By design, 91.72% of the Robins HPC’s overall energy demand is met from air source heat pumps and air to water heat pumps, which heats the water in the building.
- The club has advised Sport Positive that it does not believe its use of renewable energy is over 40%.
- The Robins HPC is a zero-gas facility.
- The Robins HPC’s electricity contract was being renewed in November 2022. A policy is in place whereby all energy renewals must get at least one quote from a renewable energy supplier.
- Ashton Gate Stadium’s redevelopment was rated as BREEAM very good.
- Is ESOS compliant with its ESOS Phase 2 report completed in October 2020.
- Both Ashton Gate Stadium and Robins HPC have Building Management Systems to carefully manage energy usage and cut consumption.
- Low-energy lighting is used at Ashton Gate. The Robins HPC uses all LED lighting including inside the building and the floodlights.
- Ashton Gate Stadium has energy saving lighting throughout but is making further upgrades to LED lights in all locations as old ones expire. It is estimated that 85% of lights at the ground are LED.
- Ashton Gate and Robins HPC both have motion sensor lighting to reduce energy.
- Air to water heat pumps at the Robins HPC heats water for the building.
- Daikin has provided a controller in each room at the Robins HPC which enables air-con to be managed. This stops the high-performance centres from acting as one controller but enables a local controller to manage extract/supply. These are on timers to be off overnight.
- The Robins HPC and Ashton Gate (excluding Atyeo Stand) use modern eco-friendly hand-dryers without a heating element (Dyson Airblade V).
- All windows at Robins HPC and Ashton Gate are double-glazed.
- Promotes the use of public transport (Public Bus, M2 MetroBus and Rail), E-Scooters, walking and cycling routes to the stadium.
- Has 96 cycle parking spaces behind the South Stand. There is also a free to use bike pump.
- Run regular Dr Bike workshops offering free bike repairs. The latest edition was in October 2022 (Bristol City vs QPR) and included a Clean Air Zone workshop.
- Bristol City and Ashton Gate staff have access to a cycle to work scheme.
- Robins HPC has bike storage options for training days & match days.
- Robins HPC and Ashton Gate have storage and showers available for staff who cycle to work.
- Bristol City Robins Foundation have begun offering mileage for staff who cycle to meetings and reworded policies to encourage sustainable transport ahead of car use.
- Available area at the stadium for future bike-share schemes.
- Are members of the First Bus Commuter Club which offers staff up to 10% discounts on local bus services.
- The team coach, official away supporter coaches and all matchday shuttle buses to Ashton Gate and Robins HPC are Euro-6 standard (European Union regulations where vehicles must meet a certain Euro emissions standard).
- The Ashton Gate matchday shuttle buses are all subsidised and very popular. There is also a service to the Robins HPC where City Women play. Ashton Gate and Robins HPC services all offer travel from £1 return are free for concessionary pass holders and under 5s. Group rates available.
- Prizes are offered for using shuttle bus including free tickets and free signed shirts.
- This season it is estimated that City fans will travel a combined 320,000-355,000km via club subsidised travel.
- Three dedicated supporter bus services operate from Winterstoke Road for Bristol City’s first-team home games.
- Work with Great Western Railway (GWR) on additional rail services for evening games from its nearest station, Parson Street. 8 of the first 12 football games of the 22/23 season have had additional services stopping at Parson Street for football fans.
- Staff and players at the Robins HPC have access to x10 EV charging points.
- Promotes transport services by running a ‘Getting to the Gate’ ahead of every match. Emails and toilet posters promote shuttle buses for every game.
- Parking is deliberately the fifth option on the website and visitors will have to scroll through shuttle bus, public bus, rail, cycling & walking sections first.
- An interactive route planner on its travel page shows how supporters can get to Ashton Gate by public transport regardless of where they are coming from.
- Cyclists can plan their journey to Ashton Gate via ‘Better By Bike’ (an external route planner provider) which can be accessed via a link on the club’s website and provides information on cycle lanes, bike pumps and elevation changes.
- On the ‘Travel’ section of the club’s website, supporters can click through to LiftShare website.
- The last transport survey was pre-Covid (April 2019) and showed for football, the following results; Car drivers 35.6%, Car passengers 18.2%, Walk 8%, Public Bus 12.9%, Matchday Shuttle Buses 13.3% [suspects fans that use public bus may have selected ‘Matchday Shuttle Buses’ as there are not this many supporters on the shuttle buses according to ticket data], Private Coach 0.3%, Train 8.1%, Taxi 1.3%, Cycle 0.8%, Motorbike/moped 0.1%, Electric/Hybrid car 0.2%, Other 1.1%.
- The survey also suggested (pre-Covid data): cycling had increased 400% in 7 years, shuttle bus patronage had increased 300% in 3 years, additional rail services increased from 0 to 22 per season and rail had increased from 3% in 2013 to 8.1% in 2019.
- Another transport survey will take place in the coming months and will dive deeper into the journeys to understand the carbon impact of the trips i.e., to know more about distance and vehicles.
Single Use Plastic Reduction/Removal
- Currently not single-use plastic free. There is a stated policy in place to reduce single-use plastic where it is safe, practical and affordable to do so.
- A new Brita tap has been installed in the academy restaurant at the Robins HPC to avoid further single use plastic, pushing reusable bottles. This is in addition to 3 existing water fountains
- A free-to use water fountain at Ashton Gate is available for all fans in the coffee shop.
- Hospitality and events team at Ashton Gate now use re-fillable glass bottles.
- Single use plastic cutlery/straws are removed where spotted.
- Ashton Gate’s coffee shop uses Vegware and the crisps supplier is plastic free.
- There is now a charge for bags in the club shop.
- The club’s 22/23 home, away and Robin shirts are made from 100% Eco8 polyester where each shirt is made from up to 8 recycled plastic bottles.
- Primary waste provider ETM are zero waste to landfill and the club has confirmed that it has a waste management programme across all of its sites.
- Waste travels 500m from Ashton Gate to where it is sorted.
- Glass is recycled through Bristol Waste.
- Food from all sites (stadium and training ground) which can’t be donated goes to Keenan’s processing centre where it is converted into energy using anaerobic digestion
- Any leftover food which can’t be re-used goes to St Mungo’s women’s shelter less than a mile from the stadium. It is estimated that this season, including Bristol Bears Rugby games, this will divert approximately 3,200 food items from landfill.
- The Bristol City first team donate any surplus team food from away trips to a local charity. Over 2,950 meals have been delivered to 17 charities and 20 different shelters across the country over the last three seasons.
- Fruit and vegetable waste from the Robins HPC kitchen is composted on-site and used on the Robins HPC ornamental beds.
- Grass cuttings are composted in Bristol and turned into PAS100 soil conditioner and fertiliser which is then used on allotments in Bristol
- Confidential waste from Ashton Gate is recycled into toilet tissue and paper towels.
- Matchday programme is now digital.
- A ‘Water Savings and Efficiency Plan’ which covers Ashton Gate Stadium, Robins HPC (Bristol City’s training ground), Bears HPC (rugby training ground) and SGS College Arena (where Bristol Flyers train and play) is in progress.
- The Robins HPC use a ‘waste2water’ system for cleaning machines, which uses and then recycles the water. Machines are cleaned through a pressured hose, the water collected in a single drain, debris separated, and water then reused to clean the next machine.
- Water butts can be found at both the stadium and training ground. The water butt at the stadium takes rainwater from an outbuilding roof and is used on the plants within the car park area and wildflower area, as well as wiping down fences, signs and posters.
- Low water consumption taps and dual-flush toilets in Robins HPC and Ashton Gate.
- Ashton Gate has sensor-flushes on the urinals and Robins HPC has them in the first team changing room areas.
- There are a couple of waterless toilets in staff areas of Ashton Gate too.
- Ashton Gate has a water leak detection system.
- Soil Scout sensors in the pitch at Ashton Gate allow ground staff to monitor moisture levels to reduce water use across the pitch.
- The club’s 22/23 home, away and Robin shirts also hummel’s ZEROH20 – A dry-dye concept with zero water consumption and zero waste-water discharges.
Plant based/low carbon food
- On a typical home match day, general admittance vegetarians can enjoy a choice of 19 food options (16 hot items including pies, pasties, hot-dogs, Ital [Caribbean], burgers, bao buns, sandwiches, paninis, noodles plus cold options of mezze box, sandwiches and salads). 14 of these options are also suitable for Vegans.
- Additional vegetarian and vegan options are available in hospitality.
- Over 50% of products sold at Ashton Gate travel fewer than 12 miles to the stadium. Key suppliers include cider from Thatchers – produced just 11.71 miles away, pies and pasties from Buxton and Bird – made 8.43 miles away and beers/ales brewed at Bristol Beer Factory just 350 meters from Ashton Gate. The partnerships and supply from Buxton and Bristol Beer Factory started in August 2021.
- Staff at the Robins HPC can purchase food in the staff canteen which has vegetarian and vegan options every day including multiple Vegan milk alternatives. This is also available for players, who also have vegan options at every away trip.
- The players only regularly eat at the stadium post-match, but a vegan option is always on their options list.
- Staff at Ashton Gate can purchase food from the Kofi Lounge (coffee shop) which has vegetarian and vegan options available every day including multiple Vegan milk alternatives.
- On a typical matchday, all of the top ten selling alcoholic beverages are also Vegan. Typical matchday items available to all home fans. Menus are subject to change and evolution.
- Has a live Ecological Landscaping, Management and Enhancement Plan for the Robins HPC.
- Ashton Gate has a management plan which focuses on the brook which runs through the site with particular efforts on invasive species and wildflowers. The club is in the process of developing a new management plan based on the new ‘Landscape and Public Realm Plan’.
- Planted 290m2 of wildflowers adjacent to the Robins HPC.
- At the Robins HPC, the following has been installed; six bat boxes, six 1B Schwegler nest boxes on trees (with different diameters for different species), six dormice nest boxes, x1 bug hotel, 1 ladybird tower, x1 bee house and a raised vegetable plot which will be beneficial to local pollinators (another one is in the pipeline).
- Night flowering honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum has been planted at the Robins HPC to benefit moths.
- There is an area for amphibians and reptiles including a habitat pile in the grassland at the South East corner of the Robins HPC.
- An allotment is currently being created at the Robins HPC with soil prepared by Grounds Staff to ensure it’s ready for sowing in spring.
- There is a brook running through the stadium site which is planted with trees and wildflower mix.
- In early discussions with residents, Councillors and Avon Wildlife trust to turn a field that the club owns into some form of community nature reserve. Approx 15.4 acres.
- Promoted Hedgehog safety to staff and fans. The club is 2nd in the Hedgehog Football League.
- Initiatives are discussed at every ‘employee Town Hall’ meeting.
- Behaviour change is filtered down through email and staff posters.
- Staff have been sent a carbon calculator for personal use and included within staff induction process.
- Players have attended an environmental workshop and the club captain is the de-facto champion.
- The Robins Foundation, depending on the module of the course – provides education around all forms of sustainability including environment. They also operate social interaction groups in two local primary schools which plan and action environmental projects such as litter picking. They also deliver Sky Ocean rescue resource which is delivered through partner schools.
- Worked with three students from the University of the West of England to provide them with a “skills bridge” as they came in to discuss and work on the initial Project Whitebeam scoping exercise.
Communication and Engagement
- Launched Project Whitebeam – a group-wide project between the club, Bristol Bears Rugby Club, Bristol Flyers Basketball Club, Ashton Gate Stadium and Bristol Sport, to tackle all areas of environmental sustainability and this can be found on the website here https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/city-launch-project-whitebeam/. The club has plans to develop the page.
- Central Bristol has a Clean Air Zone starting November 2022. Ashton Gate and Bristol City have partnered with the CAZ team to run communications to supporters in the months building up and had CAZ staff at the stadium to provide information to supporters.
- In November 2022, Bristol City staff and players took part in their first river-clean-up operation in partnership with local Big Tidy project. This will be quarterly.
- Was the first professional club to partner with Pledgeball – an initiative that aims to mobilise football fans to bring about change to help preserve the planet.
- Won the inaugural Pledgeball League title where Robins fans pledged to save 432,731kg of CO₂e per year. Carried out significant work with Pledgeball to achieve this including website stories, in-bowl screen adverts, matchday interviews, programme features, toilet posters and Robins TV videos.
- Project Whitebeam has been launched publicly and fans engaged with through the likes of Pledgeball.
- Participated in the WWF’s World Wildlife Day 2022 by removing the Robin from its crest for the day to highlight the risk that nature loss presents to the planet.
- Been part of the Tusk Lion Trail – a global art installation in support of African conservation. The Ashton Gate lion is one of 47 individually curated sculptures launched in locations across the globe. https://www.bristol-sport.co.uk/news/the-lion-has-landed-at-ashton-gate-stadium/
- Raised awareness of Rob Green and Dean Windass’ promotion of using smart meters.
- The club has also engaged fans and staff on the topic of environmental sustainability through concourse screens, pitch side LED hoardings, Robins TV (the club’s TV channel), match day handouts, matchday programme, stadium PA announcements, stadium PA half time interviews, staff room/staff kitchen/staff presentations, Twitter and social media and conversations with Supporters Club and Trust.
- Media such as Sky Sports News featured interviews with players Zak Vyner and Ella Powell and men’s first team manager, Nigel Pearson all discussing sustainability over the course of Green Football Weekend. Additionally, the club was featured on BBC Radio Bristol features and Podcasts.
- WWF’s Carbon Calculator was included to fans in Green Football Weekend stories.
Information sourced directly from Bristol City F.C. staff, website and third party websites
Information updated 07 March, 2023.