First Person: Owner of first ‘vegan football club’ scoring sustainable goals

Forest Green Rovers/Steve Schofield Dale Vince is chairman of Forest Green Rovers and owner of Ecotricity, a sustainable energy company.

“Forest Green Rovers began as a rescue mission for me in 2010. This 120-year-old club was facing closure and it happened to be located close to the town, Stroud, where I built Ecotricity, an energy company which aims to replace fossil fuels with sustainable green energy. 

I’m a football fan so I thought I’d help out and just a day or so into owning the club, I started to recognize issues which really conflicted with my outlook and the way I lived. The first thing was red meat; we were serving beef lasagne to our players and I was horrified to find myself part of the trade in meat which is so harmful to the environment. So, we stopped that. We then realized we had to change just about everything to create a green football club, something that had never been done before. 

We were communicating with football fans who would stereotypically be considered a very difficult audience and not interested in climate and sustainability issues. We decided to weave sustainability into the DNA of the club, putting it on an equal footing with football.

We identified energy, transport and food, biggest sources of carbon emissions in Britain which represent 80 per cent of everybody’s personal carbon footprint. Read more>>

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