1 in 3
car trips in Watford are less than 2 miles
of people travel in Watford via private vehicle
5 of the 10
wettest years in the UK have occurred this century
What Is Environmental Sustainability?
Environmental sustainability is a part of everything we do. It’s involved in how we live, work, go to school, watch and play football, and enjoy the smaller things in life. Everyone has a responsibility. It’s about conserving natural resources and protecting the natural environment, all of which supports health and well being. It’s about maintaining this now, and for future generations. Unfortunately, we are not thinking in this way and threaten the ability of future generations to live and thrive. The Trust want to do their part and make sure there is a healthy and thriving planet for the future.
Our Approach and Targets
The Trust have set up 8 principles that encompass all that is involved in environmental sustainability. They simplify its complexity and allow us to see how we can all do our bit, giving us targets to work towards.
To Reduce Energy Consumption and Use Cleaner Energy
- To work towards Watford FC’s 2040 net zero emissions target.
- To reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency as much as possible.
- To increase the renewable energy fraction in the energy mix.
To Switch and Use Cleaner Transport Modes
- To reduce reliance of private vehicles and encourage car sharing.
- To increase the number of people in Watford and Harrow:
- Using public transport.
To Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Water
- For staff and community to reduce water consumption.
- To implement rainwater harvesting infrastructure and use rainwater.
- To implement greywater recycling and reuse infrastructure.
- To explore reusing water for other activities/appliances.
To Prevent Waste Through Reduction, Recycling, and Recovery Procedures by Implementing a Circular Approach
- To increase waste recycled.
- To reduce all forms of waste.
- To remove or switch single-use materials for reusable alternatives.
To Have Healthy and Biodiverse Ecosystems
- To achieve biodiversity net gain, with any offsetting* to occur within Watford and Harrow Borough.
- To increase social-ecosystem engagement activities.
- To improve or at least sustain all ecosystem services.
To Consider Environmental Sustainability Across the Supply Chain
- To ensure supply chain complies with relevant principles to also be considered ‘environmentally sustainable.’
To Implement a Pro-Environmental Culture
- To increase engagement activities with staff.
- To increase engagement activities with the community.
- To increase pro-environmental behaviour through leading by example.
To Consider the Existing and Projected Impacts of Climate Change
- For facilities to have accessibility and availability of cool spaces.
- To have infrastructure and methods in place to withstand extreme weather conditions.
- To improve coping capacity.
What Are the Trust Doing?
We are only just starting our journey to play our part in saving our planet and we know we have to improve. This can be as simple as thinking sustainably when making everyday decisions; for us, that’s things like using wooden medals as part of The Taylor Trek, or using recyclable paper when printing is necessary.
Looking in the Mirror
It can’t just be about getting others to think responsibly when it comes to protecting our planet – environmental sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. That is why we’re working with Watford Football Club and, where relevant, the consultants at ClearVue. We already have recycling bins available at our facilities and are currently monitoring energy usage at both our community hubs, Cedars Youth and Community Centre and Meriden Community Centre. We’ve also begun installing LED lighting at the centres, thanks to funding from the Football Foundation and the John Lyon’s Charity.
Spreading the Message
We directly engage with thousands of people each year, not to mention the huge reach of Watford Football Club both on matchday and online, which is why it’s important for us to use our platform to raise awareness and create action amongst our communities. We explore this more in the ‘What Are the Community Doing?’ tab, but an example of this can be seen with our primary school projects in which we deliver social action projects, which aim to increase participants’ knowledge of environmental issues. Elsewhere in secondary schools, environmental sustainability sessions form part of our social action content and are a key theme within our programme. We’ve also had school groups take part in litter picking both in the school and the local community, planting, and maintenance at a local allotment.
We have also …
- signed up to the EFL GreenClubs Scheme, providing support and guidance on our journey to lessen our environmental impact.
- signed up to the Wenta Net Zero Gold Plus Membership.
- appointed our ‘Environmental Sustainability Officer.’
- established our internal Green & Keen team to engage staff to help capture ideas and deliver change within the Trust.
- developed our Environmental Sustainability policy and a road map and action plan.
- designated all future staff events as ‘bring your own bottle’ occasions to ensure staff make use of their reusable water bottles.
- engaged with the Wildlife Trust after their audit of our community hub spaces with a view to increasing biodiversity on those sites.
- looking to visit with other EFL clubs to share best practice and learn from their experiences.
What Are the Community Doing?
PLPS Social Action Project – February 2024
This month our social action groups discussed energy. They thought about the effects of non-renewable energy and the benefits of switching to renewable energy sources. The children designed shirts for a match against the two teams and were all supporting the renewable energy team for the future!
PLPS Social Action Project – January 2023
Recently, our Premier League Primary Stars participants have been looking at biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. Year 3 and 6 pupils conducted an experiment into the effect these materials have on the earth and sea. A selection of objects were put into jars for classes to observe over the next few weeks. Pupils predicted what would happen to the objects based on whether they were plastic or natural.
Pupils then thought about every day objects and what was the correct way to dispose of them; compost, recycle or bin. Through their learning, they continue to encourage others to reduce, reuse and recycle to help tackle the problem of plastic pollution.
This aligns with our engagement and waste themes.
Plastic and our Oceans: PLPS Classroom Sessions
Our Premier League Primary Stars participants recently spent time designing posters about plastic and the effect it has on our oceans, They also wrote letters to the council addressing the issue of plastic pollution and encouraging people to reduce, reuse and recycle.
This links with our ‘Engagement’ theme, and our target to increase engagement activities with the community.
Well done, Year 3!
Watford FC Training Ground Sustainability Audit
Our newest Trust Sustainability PL Primary Stars Project is underway this half term. The Eco Council From St Anthony’s had the opportunity to visit Watford FC Training Ground to conduct their own sustainability audit. They toured the grounds to see what action is being taken to support the environment and where there could be an opportunity to make their own positive impact. The group will create some projects to present over the next few weeks in the hopes one of their ideas will be adopted by Watford FC CSE Trust!
Reusable Water Bottles
As part of our Premier League Primary Stars, programme, the Trust worked with local primary schools to learn about environmental issues and what ideas they could come up with to help the Club and Trust to be more environmentally sustainable.
Woodlands Primary School competed against other schools to win over a panel of judges with an outstanding water bottle design. With over 13 billion plastic water bottles being used and 5.5 billion entering our oceans or landfills, this was a great start for staff to have their own water bottle to use and promote to others they work with.
Ben Wells, School Sport Manager at Watford FC Community Sport and Education Trust said:
“The children of Woodland Primary not only came up with the important idea of reusable water bottles for all Trust staff, but they also came up with educational designs to further raise awareness on this issue. We congratulate all the pupils at Woodlands Primary for their hard work and look forward to teaming up with many more local primary schools in the future.”
In partnership with the Trust, The Eco Council at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School put their Social Action project into practice by hosting a games swap to help reduce plastic waste by reusing unwanted games.
Seed Packets at Meriden Community Centre
As one of their social action projects, the eco council from Sacred Heart Primary School designed seed packets filled with wildflowers, which can be purchased from Meriden Community Centre and planted at home. As well as designing the seed packets, they visited the Centre to plant the seeds, and were supported by participants from the Premier League Inspires programme in planting the seeds, before enjoying a session on the astro as part of the young sports leader programme.
How Can I Help?
Everyone has their part to play in sustainability.
The Trust are working to reduce our environmental impact, so join the team and help us build a more sustainable future!
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Invest in insulation.
- Turn down thermostat by 1°c.
- Drought proof your home.
- Turn off appliances at the socket.
- Try the bus!
- Carshare with a friend.
- Learn to cycle.
- Go for walk – see what nature has to offer.
- Shorten your shower time by 1 minute.
- Only use your washing machine and dishwasher when they’re full.
- Measure how much water you need before boiling the kettle.
- Remove single-use items from your house.
- Only buy what you need!
- Check how to dispose of items.
- Try reusing items.
Biodiversity & Ecosystems
- Respect local habitats.
- Plant wildflowers.
- Check items come from responsible sources.
- Buy in-season produce.
- Purchase items from responsible sources.
- Purchase locally.
- Check how items can be disposed of.
- Talk to people about relevant issues.
- Follow social media sites and profiles that support you in being sustainable.
- Mention sustainable actions to friends and family.
Adapting to Change
- Check the weather before going out.
- Look to invest in easy and cheap ways to keep cool.