Northampton Saints commit to United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework

Northampton Saints has announced that the Club is joining the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework.

The UN Sports for Climate Action Framework aims to promote action on the climate in the sports sector through leadership, collaboration and ambition – this includes measuring, reducing, and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, and using sport as a means to drive climate awareness and action around the globe.

The initiative commits members to setting a minimum target of 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, and a net-zero emissions target by 2040.

As a signatory to the framework, Northampton Saints pledges to support and implement the following five climate action principles:

  • Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Reduce overall climate impact
  • Educate for climate change
  • Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
  • Advocate for climate change action through communication

“We recognise the role Saints can play in the fight against climate change, and so we are excited to become a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework,” said Julia Chapman, Finance & Operations Director at Northampton Saints.

“Only a handful of professional rugby clubs have already signed up and we’re proud to be pioneers in this field within the Gallagher Premiership. We intend to use the power and reach of Northampton Saints to inspire our community to push for a more sustainable future for everyone.”

The Club’s commitment to the UN Framework is part of Saints wider Sustainability Policy which outlines Saints’ ambitions to reduce carbon emissions from its operations, and utilise resources more efficiently to reduce waste and energy usage.

As such, Saints are currently undergoing a carbon footprint assessment – in partnership with leading Advisory Apex Group – to measure the Club’s current baseline level of emissions. Once complete, the assessment will be used to help the Club identify and prioritise the actions it can take to get to net zero, and to engage its supporter and the wider community on the journey.

In January, Saints enlisted Solivus to supply and install just over 600 thin-layer solar panels on the roof of the Church’s and Barwell Stands, meaning all suitable roof space at the ground has now been utilised to create renewable energy. The new, ultra-lightweight panels, in addition to the previously-installed panels on the cinch Stand, will generate enough energy to power the Stadium Bowl on non-event days all year round, which will both help the Club to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce its reliance on the National Grid.

“In the last 18 months, the Club has introduced a number of measures to further reduce our impact on the environment,” added Chapman.

“For example, all of Saints bought-in energy is now on a zero-carbon tariff. In the stadium’s office buildings, we have installed loft insulation and secondary double glazing to significantly improve the energy efficiency.

“Our main and training pitches are irrigated using a natural lake, reducing the stadium’s use of mains water.

“We have improved our waste recycling, installed water dispensers around the ground for re-usable bottles, and use EcoCups rather than single-use plastics. Elsewhere, we have significantly reduced the use of disposable plastic cutlery, sachets and food trays in our catering outlets. 

“On matchday, we have increased the number of vegan and vegetarian food options in our catering units, as well as providing a wider selection of meat-free meals in hospitality, and we try to ensure the food used in our catering operation is seasonal and locally sourced where possible.

“For our employees, we have recently introduced a salary sacrifice Electric Vehicle scheme to add to our existing Cycle to Work scheme.

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