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League football club Forest Green Rovers becomes carbon neutral

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An English football league team has been declared carbon-neutral by the United Nations.

Gloucestershire-based Forest Green Rovers, who are currently in Sky Bet League Two, are the first football team to sign up to a UN campaign which aims to halt global warming.

The club will be taking part in Climate Neutral Now for the upcoming season.

The initiative, launched in 2015, encourages companies, organisations, governments and citizens to reduce their carbon footprints so they have no impact on global temperatures by the middle of the century.

Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince
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Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince said it was a “real honour”

Club chairman Dale Vince, who is also the founder of green energy firm Ecotricity, said: “It’s a real honour to be the very first sports club in the world to be named carbon neutral by the UN.

“We’re a small club with big ambitions, and it’s fantastic we can work together to champion the sustainability message worldwide.

“It’s great to be first, but I believe it’s only a matter of time before the big boys like Real Madrid, Man United and the San Francisco 49ers follow our example.

“I’m personally looking forward to working more with the UN to help spread the word about the environment through football.”

Forest Green Rovers’ move comes after the Premier League announced in April that it would introduce measures to phase out single-use plastics in its operations, backing Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign.

Scott Laird of Forest Green Rovers in a match against Exeter City last season
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Scott Laird of Forest Green Rovers in a match against Exeter City last season

In order to take part in the UN initiative, Rovers have to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce them by as much as possible and buy UN certified carbon credits to offset the emissions they cannot cut.

Miguel Naranjo, from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, added: “For us it’s great, we’re really glad to have Forest Green Rovers on board because it’s an excellent example of the things that you can do right.

“The beauty about Forest Green Rovers is that it’s a small organisation, with not a massive budget. If Forest Green Rovers can do it, anyone can do it as well.”

It is Rovers’ latest commitment to being environmentally friendly.

Two years ago, the club, which is based in Nailsworth, near Stroud, became the world’s first vegan football club.

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