Eco News from 4imprint

As the colder months approach and the clocks get turned back business owners are likely to see their energy costs soar. It’s also at this time of year many firms pull together their budgets and financial plans for the coming year and we can’t imagine many would presume their heating and lighting costs will not rise. And what’s more nPower’s Business Energy Index reveals 48% of SMEs estimate their energy costs to be over 25% of overall business costs.

For this article, we look at how businesses, specifically football clubs ‘tackle’ their energy costs and the wider issue of sustainability. Read on to see how some clubs are using technology to counter these issues; we hope this ‘curve-ball’ approach may inspire you to think differently and perhaps even improve your own workplace enviro-credentials. So let’s ‘kick off’…

Lights, Heat, Water.
The San Francisco 49ers (American Football) have a stadium that meets its power supply purely from energy derived from solar. Other innovations at the ground include a geothermal heat pump that transfers heat from the ground around the stadium to supply hot water and the sports field itself is irrigated by a water recycling system that produces over 1,500 gallons of grey water a minute.

Turf.
Back in 2012 Real Madrid FC installed a new generation of turf on 11 of its training pitches. The turf, produced by Dutch pioneers Desso, does not need to be watered, mown or treated with pesticides and part of the project included the removal of the old pitches, which were reused in local schools and sports clubs. Closer to home, Manchester United, in partnership with India-based Apollo Tyres is also experimenting with recycled materials and have installed a pitch made from 2,200 recycled tyres.

Footsteps.
London based tech-firm Pavegen installed ‘power storing tiles’ into a local football pitch in a run-down area of Rio de Janeiro. Every time a player takes a step electricity is generated; supplemented by solar panels, these innovative systems provide lighting to both the stadium and more significantly also to the local neighbourhood for up to ten hours a day. This same green- principle (using motion & footfall to generate power) is used to light a pedestrian bridge at West Ham Tube Station which links to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

If these stories have whetted your appetite, why not instigate an ‘Eco Team,’ within your organisation? Spread the word by distributing eco-friendly promotional items such as a pens made from recycled water bottles or pencils manufactured from recycled denim or cd cases.

Why not share these innovative ideas, over lunch perhaps, and set brains whirring to uncover further creative green-ideas. You could set an eco-challenge to cut energy consumption across your business; distribute notepads, sticky-notes or mousemats printed with messages to remind your team to turn off lights, PCs and printers in the evening and especially over the weekend.

And finally, a quick thought for extra-time, if your organisation has several departments you could challenge them to compete against each other to come up with ideas that could be implemented throughout the whole organisation; and, of course, be sure to crown the overall winners Eco-Champions!

Whatever the size of your organisation, an eco-challenge should not only motivate your team but it could also save the organisation money that could be recycled back into the business.

Further Reading / References
Sustainable Clubs. Sport England.
Greywater. Wikipedia.
Kinetic Energy. Wikipedia.
Business Energy Index 2013. nPower.
Sustainability in Football – Greening the Game. The Guardian
Power generating tiles pave the way to renewable energy breakthrough. The Guardian.