A Striking Sustainability Partnership

The University and Reading Football Club are ‘partnering for the planet’ to help the Club take steps towards minimising its environmental impact and improving its sustainability.

The partnership is being announced today to mark #ShowYourStripes Day (21 June 2022), which sees thousands of people and organisations share a climate change infographic created by one of Reading’s climate scientists – Professor Ed Hawkins MBE – every year on the summer solstice.

Reading Football Club (Reading FC) will be supported by the University to deliver a 10-point plan to begin reducing its carbon footprint – including investigating solar panel options at its stadium and supporting fans to recycle more on matchdays.

The University will offer the knowledge and expertise of its sustainability team and researchers to assist the Club in making progress, with the help of its loyal fanbase.

Professor Hawkins said:

“I love that Reading FC is using the warming stripes to start its own conversation around sustainability and to raise awareness of their important message among its large fanbase.

“The steps the Club is seeking to take are positive and we are pleased as a University to be joining forces with people across Reading in a new way to make the town greener.”

Tim Kilpatrick, Commercial Director at Reading FC, said: “This is the beginning of a long journey, not an ego-trip. We may not be perfect but, much like the majority of our fans in our stands, we can be better and help achieve a brighter future for our planet.

“We hope that this partnership inspires more climate conversations, and through action at the stadium and the buy-in from Reading fans everywhere, we can all play our part.”

Building a more sustainable future

Photo credit: JASONPIX

The Club’s ground staff already use electric mowers to maintain its pitches, a transition towards LED lighting at both the stadium and training ground complex is under way, and matchday bus travel is heavily subsidised to encourage fans to leave their cars at home.

As a result of the new partnership, the Club will be embarking on a number of wide-ranging initiatives including:

  • Examining how to reduce carbon emissions in their daily and matchday operations
  • Exploring opportunities to use technologies that generate renewable electricity or heat at the stadium and training ground
  • Working with their Principal Partner – Select Car Leasing – to establish the viability of installing electric vehicle charging points
  • Improving cycle facilities for supporters and publicising them better
  • Presenting home and away fans with the knowledge and the tools to recycle more
  • Reducing paper use, recycling glass bottles, and minimising food waste levels at the stadium
  • Proactively monitoring the water, electricity and gas the Club uses as an organisation
  • Implementing reusable or recyclable cup solutions from the stadium service kiosks
  • Sourcing food and supplies more carefully and sustainably
  • Educating their supporters and key stakeholders in sustainability best practice.

Find out more about the University’s work on climate action and sustainability, or discover more about Professor Hawkins’ research.