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Manchester United

About us

Our environmental journey began in 2000 when we built The Trafford Training Centre at Carrington. The site is an environmentally sensitive area so we decided to go all-out and demonstrate best practice in terms of sustainability.

Right now, we're one of the only football clubs to hold so many eco-standards, including:

  • Carbon Reduction Commitment 2011: joint first place along with 22 other organisations for their energy management and carbon reductions
  • ISO14001: for establishing an environmental management system 
  • The Carbon Trust Standard for Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction 
  • ISO20121: for Event Sustainability Management recently awarded prior to staging  Olympics Football events at Old Trafford
  • Green Tourism Business Scheme: their Gold Standard for environmental best practice was recently awarded to the Manchester United Museum & Tour Centre and the Red Café

About the ground

Old Trafford needs no introduction. It’s the second biggest stadium in the country, with a whopping capacity of 75,811 people. Our weekday home is the extensive training ground, The Trafford Training Centre – with its 14 football pitches, MUTV studio, training and rehabilitation areas, sports facilities, a restaurant, conference rooms, offices and classrooms and is currently in the process of further developments.

Environmental initiatives

We have two main environmental awareness initiatives. The ‘Reds Go Green’ focuses on waste efficiency and recycling. This initiative is promoted by the Education Team in the Manchester United Museum, delivering lessons on sustainability to a number of local schools and covers areas such as best practice, waste management and recycling.

‘United to Switch Off and Save’ is our energy efficiency programme that encourages members of staff to act as energy champions and promote energy efficient practices at work. This campaign is strongly supported by the Energy Management team using their Building Energy Management Systems to manage the computer based control systems.

We also work in partnership with WRAP, on a project to encourage our suppliers to adopt environmental practices on resource efficiency. The previous very successful supply chain programme with Envirowise engaged over 70 of our suppliers over a five year period who between them saved over £500,000 in the process.

Environmental features:

  • Rainwater at Old Trafford is recycled and used for pitch irrigation and maintenance.
  • No waste materials are sent to landfill as any products that can’t be recycled are sent to a local Waste to Energy plant managed by our waste contractors Viridor. Waste food is also sent for composting.
  • We created a nature reserve at Carrington, which we maintain with Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It has grassland and ponds both important habitats for wildlife; red admiral butterflies, meadow pipits and grey partridges have all made their home there. Two lagoons are also used as part of the waste water treatment system.
  • The training centre also features a lagoon with reed bed technology, where dirty water is cleaned and recycled in order to provide water for the pitches. A borehole was also introduced to assist with water self-sufficiency.
  • A wide range of products are sent for re-use or recycled including glass, plastics, cans, green waste from our pitches, wood, surplus event materials like carpets and signage boards, office stationery and marketing materials. Printed publications are now produced from sustainable sources. Old IT equipment and printer cartridges are recycled or re-used and donated for charitable purposes.
  • One of our most successful eco-programmes was the Nike ‘ReUSE-A-Shoe’ initiative which recycled worn out trainers into premium sports surfaces. These were then used in all weather conditions for a variety of sports including football, tennis, basketball and running tracks.
  • We were awarded the first Gold Standard Award in the Trafford area by the Keep Britain Tidy Group.

What next?

‘It’s all about maintenance and moving things on with continuous improvement,’ says Keith McIntosh, the club’s Health, Safety and Environment Manager. ‘We have good commitment and leadership from the top – and the support of our staff. The professional approach demonstrated by some of our key staff is outstanding.