Premiership champions Manchester United has achieved ISO 14001 certification, making it the first English football club to do so
Manchester United was awarded the internationally recognised certificate for its environmental management system this week, after publicly upping its commitments to sustainability in recent years. In 2009, for example, it set the goal of diverting 100% of its waste from landfill and reducing its energy and carbon emissions by 10% in 12 months.
According to the club, its sustainability efforts, including working with the Carbon Trust and its supply chain, have enabled it to achieve more than £500,000 of costs savings and helped the organisation to be among the 22 ranked at the top of the first Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency scheme league table published in November last year.
Keith McIntosh, the group’s health safety and environment manager, revealed that staff engagement was key to the club’s environmental achievements, with many volunteering to become energy and environment champions.
“This is a real team effort across the business,” he said. “Staff have really made a huge effort over the last few months to ensure our performance improves and procedures are used well; and they have kept on encouraging me to keep up the green work.”
Receiving the certificate from SGS, the club’s chief operating officer Michael Bolingbroke said: “We take environmental management very seriously and being certified to an international standard is testament to all the hard work across the club. It's a real boost to receive this recognition for the work we've been doing for many years.”
Former Manchester United player and the club’s environmental ambassador Gary Neville said: “I know that the club is extremely committed to improving sustainability and this certification proves we’re heading in the right direction.”
The club now aims to become the first major sporting arena in the UK to hold 14001, the Carbon Trust Standard and the new sustainable events standard, ISO 20121, when it is published later in the year to coincide with London 2012.
In August 2011, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, home to the Welsh rugby team, became the first UK arena to achieve certification against 20121’s predecessor, BS 8901.