Premier League clubs praised for climate progress but league criticised – BBC

Premier League clubs have taken part in Green Football Weekend over recent years to raise awarenss of climate change and sustainability
Top-flight English football clubs have been praised as more active than ever on sustainability measures, but critics say there remains a "lack of moral leadership" from the Premier League itself.
A new report from Sport Positive Leagues has moved away from previous ‘league tables' largely because of the progress made on clubs' environmental impact.
Founder Claire Poole said that, five years since it began ranking clubs on areas like the matchday experience and green stadium facilities, "things had changed".
Poole said: "Clubs are now much more frequently engaging on this topic – 16 Premier League clubs now have a sustainability page on their website; six clubs have net zero carbon targets; and first-team players more regularly appear in club videos recycling, driving electric vehicles and eating plant-based food.
"The new report enables clubs, fans, journalists and anyone in the sports ecosystem to easily find information relating to top-flight English football clubs and, while there is much work still to do, the progress from clubs over the past five years since Sport Positive Leagues started collating this information in 2019 has markedly improved.”
Nottingham Forest were bottom of the 2023 table and have since signed up to the United Nations framework, publishing emissions and putting in place a clubwide strategy.
The 2024 report, external highlights:
Three clubs have their environment or sustainability efforts externally accredited
Five clubs are signatories to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Sports for Climate Action
Six clubs have net zero targets
Six clubs have on-site clean energy generation at their stadium, academy or training ground
Seven clubs have sustainable transport policies in place
Earlier this year the Premier League issued a 'sustainability commitment', external to be a minimum standard for clubs, after "extensive consultation" between clubs and the league’s sustainability working group.
It puts the emphasis on clubs to develop "robust" policies and a greenhouse gas dataset, and help with a "common framework for action".
But the Premier League as an organisation has been criticised for not publishing a sustainability strategy in two and a half years, hosting a 2023 pre-season Summer Series in the United States involving six teams, and not addressing the use of domestic flights by clubs.
Wycombe Wanderers midfielder David Wheeler told BBC Sport: “Two and a half years to wait on a sustainability strategy is dragging your feet, to say the least.
"The lack of moral leadership seems to be a common thread among the top people in the different organisations in football, be that Fifa or now, it seems, the Premier League.
"There are lots sustainability professionals behind the scenes in sport doing incredible work, but the CEOs and board members seem to be getting in the way of making positive change."
Wheeler called for a cap on domestic flights and said the league was "condoning" pre-season tours, creating "colossal amounts of emissions", adding that football’s expanding calendar was damaging players and the environment.
"You can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet," he said.
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