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The world's greenest soccer club nets its wooden stadium

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 30, 2019 - Duration: 01:41s

The world's greenest soccer club nets its wooden stadium

Forest Green Rovers, the world's first U.N.-certified carbon-neutral soccer club, has won planning approval for a stadium made almost entirely out of wood.

David Doyle reports.

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The world's greenest soccer club nets its wooden stadium

The world's greenest soccer club has netted a stadium to equal its environmental ethos.

Forest Green Rovers - a team that plays in the fourth tier of English soccer - won approval for a 5,000-seat ground made, quite appropriately, almost entirely from wood.

Designed by the internationally renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, the stadium includes a translucent roof to reduce shadows on the pitch - benefiting matches but also helping grass grow.

Tunnels around the pitch have been shaped and positioned to allow wind to pass through - again to aid grass growth and also to cool crowds in the summer, without the need for the big fans you might find at Premiership clubs.

But Vince Dale, club chairman and founder of the eco-friendly energy company Ecotricity, has said the starting point was the building material.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF FOREST GREEN ROVERS AND FOUNDER OF ECOTRICITY, DALE VINCE, SAYING: "Well, I think the really big deal is the fact that it's all made out of wood; minimum use of concrete.

If you look at the carbon impact of sports stadia through their working life, 75% of that impact comes from the materials that they're made with, so it's not the running cost.

Wood is of course a very sustainable material, low in carbon.

So that's our starting point really - we'll make it from the least impactful material that we can." Forest Green is arguably the most talked about lower league side in English football after it became the world's first United Nations-certified carbon-neutral football club.

Since getting involved with the club in 2010, Vince has instigated a green revolution including an organic pitch, solar power, a robotic lawnmower and an all-vegan menu.

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