13 May 5 ways sports centres can help lower emissions
Sports centres provides a lot of great benefits to their members and the local community. As we move out of lockdown, they could prove even more crucial for people’s physical and mental health. Yet, most venues are opening their doors for the first time since 2020, and will need sustainable tools to support both groups and activities.
After such a turbulent year it is more important than ever for businesses to keep costs low and attract new members or visitors. At the same time, the country is heading towards net zero deadlines and having a clear plan for reducing your carbon footprint is becoming vital. Fortunately, this does not need to be as complicated as it may seem. With a few simple changes, it is possible to see good results very quickly. Here are a few areas to focus on to build a sustainable future.
Renewable energy options
One of the easiest ways to cut emissions is to get your electricity from renewable sources. Depending on the size of your business, and its location, you could install a combination of roof-mounted solar cells and even small wind turbines. This not only reduces your ongoing utility bills but also helps show your low emissions commitment. By generating your own power, you also avoid non-commodity charges.
Surplus energy can then be sold back to the grid, generating extra income and helping to balance the local power network.
Water and waste control
After electricity, water is one of the highest costs for a business. Maintaining a quality pitch or grass course often uses large quantities of water, usually at times when the country is at its driest. This can lead to high costs, pressure the network, and even lead to local droughts. Many sports centres have begun collecting rainwater via roof-based systems and installing automated sprinklers. These provide a free source of water and help cut down existing usage.
Waste management is a major component in controlling your carbon footprint. Food waste, damaged or outdated equipment, and used sports equipment can often be recycled instead of thrown away. Making sure recycling bins are clearly marked will encourage staff and customers to dispose of their waste properly. This cuts down on the amount of useable materials ending up buried in landfills.
Kit and equipment management
Whichever sport your centre focuses on, from cricket and tennis to football and rugby, there’s always going to be kit that needs replacing. Improving your recycling strategy and sourcing ethical, low emission sportswear is key. Most manufacturers now provide recyclable options. As sportswear is often synthetic, it can be easy to choose environmentally friendly materials.
There are many active shoe recycling schemes in the UK. Donated trainers are either fixed up and sent to places where shoes are in short supply or recycled. Old, unsalvageable shoes are broken down into raw materials. These are then used to make new sportswear, insulation material, or building materials.
Food and drink
Recently, many sports centres have been switching food packaging from plastic to recyclables. Cardboard straws have begun to replace plastic, and recyclable food containers are becoming easy and cheap to source. Beyond the food packaging, there are a lot of great options for going green. Meat production can be a source of high carbon emissions. Offering sustainable meat-free options allows you to lower your carbon footprint and appeal to a wider variety of customers. They can also be a lot healthier which is great for your players and members.
Engaging with your staff, fans and customers
Research into public opinion and consumer psychology shows an ever-increasing interest in the green credentials of a business. Consumers are voting with their wallets, and staying ahead of this trend is now a vital part of business strategy. It is quickly becoming essential rather than optional.
Lowering emissions starts at the club and continues in the local area. Simple measures like encouraging the use of public transport and reminding visitors to recycle can make a difference. If you have car parking onsite installing EV charging points is an ideal way to help encourage people to make the switch to electric cars.
ESS Energy and solutions management
ESS can help you every step of the way to zero emissions. An audit of your business allows us to gather all the required information and design a strategy that’s tailored for your business.
Negotiating a new contract to buy and sell power to your provider can be a complicated process. At ESS our account managers have over 20 years of experience dealing with energy providers. We can ensure you are always getting the best rates.
Knowing the relevant legislation is also important. It helps you avoid penalties and can prevent unnecessary overspending. After all, no one’s budget is unlimited, and making sure your spending money on the right things is vital.
Establishing your sports centres green credentials has many benefits, including improving your brand reputation and strengthening your relationship with your community. It also helps your business become sustainable. For more information on how ESS can help your business get in touch today.