Edgbaston’s Go Green Game – the first sustainable international match of its kind – cut carbon emissions by more than a third, a detailed report has found.

The stadium made wholesale changes to its match day operation for the England and New Zealand IT20 on 3 September, supported by commercial partners National Express West Midlands and Drax.

National Express West Midlands provided free bus travel to and from the stadium for ticket holders, while the game was powered exclusively by wind, hydro and solar energy sourced by Drax.

A final report into the impact of the game has found it emitted 33.7 per cent less carbon than the initial forecast which was based comparable major match day in 2022.

A detailed forecast of the climate impact of the game, carried out in January 2023, projected a footprint of 494 tonnes of CO2 before the implementation of any reduction activity. The actual calculation, completed after the event and reflecting the reduction activity undertaken, showed the carbon footprint was lowered to 327.79 tonnes.

The forecast, reduction planning and reconciliation report were carried out by climate action  specialists Net Zero Now.

Edgbaston Sustainability Manager Lydia Carrington, said: “We set ourselves a target of 25 per cent so to cut emissions by more than a third is really encouraging.

“The report takes into account everything from spectator travel, to food, drink and merchandise bought, pitch maintenance and energy usage immediately before, during and after the game.

“We would like to thank our sustainability partners Drax – who provided energy for the game exclusively from renewable energy – and National Express West Midlands who provided free bus travel for ticket holders, who were key to the game’s success.

“And it’s great that so many spectators got behind the Go Green Game, leaving their cars at home and using public transport, pedaling away on the energy bikes, and enjoying our red meat-free hospitality menus.

“We will be taking the learning from the Go Green Game and looking to implement more sustainable processes into our match day delivery both for international and domestic cricket.”

More than 3,600 fans arrived on a free shuttle bus service from New Street station – with around 2,400 on the return leg – while almost 1,000 fans travelled for free on other National Express West Midlands services.

Grounds staff used electric mowers and rollers, food packaging was made from compostable seaweed, and 5,000 four and six cards handed out were printed on seed paper that fans were encouraged to take home and plant to grow wildflowers.

No red meat was served in hospitality areas and spectators also played their part by signing up for stints on the pitch-side energy bikes which, when pedalled, charged up Edgbaston’s electric road sweeper.

Employees, contractors and spectators were also encouraged, where possible, to use active travel options or public transport.

The Go Green Game is another step towards Edgbaston’s commitment to become a carbon Net Zero business by 2030 which is part of its Edgbaston 4 Sustainability pledge.

Simon Heppner, Net Zero Now founder, said: “Edgbaston has set ambitious targets to achieve Net Zero by 2030, in line with Birmingham City Council’s 2019 commitment.

“A major objective of the Go Green Game was to gain a deeper understanding of the ground’s climate impact and key emissions sources and testing some priority plans to reduce these emissions.

“The program was a success in its achievement of emissions reductions beyond the target 25 per cent and represents a significant step forward in climate impact management at sports venues.

“By reporting transparently on the process, it is hoped the Go Green Game can stimulate a discussion about development of a consistent sector methodology and encourage greater sector engagement and accelerated action.”

Edgbaston recently won three prestigious sustainability awards for its work in trying to reduce the stadium’s climate impact.

The Club was named Team of the Year by judges at the British Association for Sustainable Sport (BASIS) Awards, and also landed Partnership of the Year for its free bus travel initiative with National Express West Midlands.

More spectators than ever before used public transport to reach Edgbaston for the Go Green Game.

Edgbaston also won an International Silver Green Apple Environment Award in the Carbon Reduction category for its Edgbaston 4 Sustainability campaign.

The award – run by the Green Organisation to promote environmental best practice around the world – also entitles Edgbaston to represent the UK in the Green World Environment Awards next year.

Four Teams. Two Matches. Blast Off is back!

Vitality Blast Off is back and the Bears will launch their home T20 campaign with a huge men’s double-header featuring two big Midlands rivalry games.

Taking place on Saturday 1 June, Derbyshire Falcons host Leicestershire Foxes (2.30pm) before the Bears take on Notts Outlaws (6.30pm). Buy tickets in advance and save.

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