On February 22, 2012, the Manchester United stadium in achieved ISO 14001 certification, becoming the the first major stadium in the UK to achieve this international Environmental Management System standard.
For the past 10 years, Manchester United has worked with Mike Goodfellow-Smith, a director of Quest for Future Solutions, to improve the club’s sustainability. Over the years, this has paid off, with savings mounting to over £500k (approximately US$790,000 currently) so far, and closer working relationships with some of their key suppliers that have resulted in additional cost and process efficiency savings.
During 2011, Manchester United’s dedication to reducing its carbon emissions was recognized when the club achieved the Carbon Trust Standard, and was at the top of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league tables. The club’s next challenge is to be the first major stadium in the UK to also achieve the International Standard for Sustainable Events Management when the standard is launched later this year.
United chief operating officer Michael Bolingbroke said, “We’re delighted to have achieved this certification. Here at Manchester United we take environmental management very seriously and being certified to an international standard is testament to all the hard work across the club. It’s a real boost to receive this recognition for the work we’ve been doing for many years.”
Former Reds captain Gary Neville, who recently took up the role of environmental ambassador for the club, said, “It’s fantastic to see Manchester United has been recognised for its efforts in environmental management. I know the club is extremely committed to improving sustainability and this certification proves we’re heading in the right direction.”
“It’s a privilege to be working with Manchester United,” said Mike Goodfellow-Smith, “Sporting facilities and large stadia have some unique challenges that make the implementation of environmental management systems much harder than for many companies. But Manchester United has never been known to shy away from a challenge, and they have risen to this one admirably. They have some exciting future plans to improve their sustainability further, which we’re looking forward to working on with them.”
To help other clubs and large venues, Quest has published a guide to achieving ISO14001 and ISO20121 certification, written specifically for stadium managers. This guide is available free of charge and can be ordered from this link.