Northampton Saints’ Gallagher Premiership clash against Newcastle Falcons on Saturday 27 January will mark a first for the Club – with the fixture being designated as our first ‘Green Game’ to champion sustainability and inspire our supporters to take action to support our climate and the environment.
Sport and society face a clear, substantial and imminent risk in regard to climate change; that is why, 18 months ago, Saints signed up to the UN’s Sports for Climate Action framework.
We believe that sport, and its clubs and organisations, have a crucial role to play in climate advocacy and action – and since becoming a signatory, we have scrutinised our own carbon footprint and implemented measures to reduce our impact, with an aim to move to net zero by 2040.
But the Green Game will be focused on the thousands of fans that stream through the gates of cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens every matchday. We hope to empower and encourage our supporters to join our sustainability journey, committing to taking action via our Green Game partner, Pledgeball, and reducing Saints’ carbon footprint even further.
“We’re incredibly excited to host a Green Game for the first time,” said Julia Chapman, Chief Operating Officer at Northampton Saints. “Since signing up to the UN’s Sports for Climate Action framework, we have taken an array of actions to minimise our impact on the climate and facilitate our movement towards net zero.
“There is still plenty more we need to do, and we have a long – and daunting – journey ahead of us, but we recognise that this is about much more than the impact of our own actions, or the impact of one match.
“Our reach across our fanbase gives us a fantastic platform, not just to make it easy for our supporters to make climate-positive choices on a matchday, but to encourage them to join us in making changes to their daily habits wherever they are able.”Julia Chapman, Chief Operating Officer at Northampton Saints
For Saints, this is not about implementing a series of one-off matchday initiatives to create a singular ‘net zero’ event and then going back to normal; rather it is about asking our supporters to join us in taking collective action for the long term. To this end, the Club are delighted to be partnering with Pledgeball to track our supporters’ commitments and highlight the impact that collective action can have.
We will also be looking to get feedback from our supporters regarding our sustainability actions, by sending out surveys both before and after the Green Game to see where we can improve, and to gauge the impact we have made on our fanbase already.
What to expect at our Green Game…
- Supporters can pledge a change to their lifestyle online via Pledgeball to support a collective move to net zero.
- Children can also make pledges at the game via a ‘Pledge Rugby Ball’ in the matchday Inclusion Hub.
- Saints will engage with hundreds of local schoolchildren, with education sessions championing sustainability led by Northampton Saints Foundation.
- Plant-based food from Eat Curious available in the Supporter Village.
- All hospitality menus will contain carbon-footprint information, with no lamb or beef on offer, all desserts dairy-free, and wine sourced from a local Northamptonshire vineyard (food offered in the Supporter Village will not change).
- All draught beers and soft drinks will be served in reusable EcoCups – with the option to return to the bar for a refund, or donate to the Foundation.
- Digitised matchday programmes will be available.
- All reusable water bottles will be half-price in the Saints Store, so supporters can make use of the refill points around the ground, while Saints ‘Bag for Life’ will also be available to purchase.
- All Saints player and supporter-fit jerseys available in the Saints Store are made from Macron’s Eco-Fabric (which is certified by Global Recycled Standard).
- All bottles sold at the Gardens are made from Recycled PET and can be recycled after use, while all food containers are made from recyclable, compostable or biodegradable materials.
- No disposable plastic cutlery or sauce sachets are available at the ground on matchday.
- Permanent recycling bins from our new supplier, Grundon, will be in use – making it easier for supporters to segregate their waste across the stadium.
- Young fans will be able to complete a special sustainability-focused ‘Bernie’s Bingo’ card on matchday.
- Saints will send out supporter research surveys before and after the Green Game, to see where we can improve and to gauge the impact we have made on our fanbase already.
How can I contribute towards the Green Game?
In the build-up to the Green Game, Northampton Saints will share a range of content and other online resources to highlight the Club’s climate-positive initiatives, and show supporters how they can make more sustainable choices on matchdays in a number of areas including travel, food and waste.
The Club is also teaming up with Pledgeball to provide a platform for supporters to take a stand on sustainability.
Pledgeball highlights the power that fans can have when they come together with a purpose. By visiting Northampton Saints’ own Pledgeball event HERE, supporters can pledge a lifestyle change to assist a collective move towards net zero by choosing from a list of actions provided by the Charity.
Pledging in support of Saints is easy and also automatically enters you into a prize draw to win a signed Saints shirt!
The potential that Saints supporters have to create and drive change is significant...
- If a packed-out cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens pledged to wash their clothes at 30 degrees, it would equate to taking 180 cars off the road!
- If all our Instagram followers went vegan for one day a week, it would equate to taking 3,200 cars off the road!
- If all our Twitter followers switched to energy efficient light bulbs, it would save over 4,700 tCO2e from entering the atmosphere annually – that’s the same weight as 45,000 Lewis Ludlams!
The impact YOU can have by carrying out your pledge not only reduces emissions, but stretches beyond your own actions through the influence it has on friends, family and beyond. Join our Pledgeball event HERE and make your pledges now.