Oxford United has made a significant commitment to help tackle the climate crisis, by signing the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
By joining the Framework, the club has underlined its dedication to playing its part to ensure the sports sector achieves a low-carbon future. The club is committed to halving its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2040.
Oxford United becomes the 13th English football club to sign the pledge – and is currently the only Sky Bet League One club to do so.
Launched in 2018, the UN’s initiative has more than 250 signatories worldwide, including FIFA, UEFA, The FA, the International Olympic Committee, Formula 1, Sky Sports and BBC Sport. The initiative seeks to tackle climate change and bring the global sports community in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
A major part of the club’s net-zero commitment is building a state-of-the-art low-carbon 16,000-capacity stadium at the Triangle in Kidlington. The stadium would use low-impact materials in the build, include sustainable sources of power and increase biodiversity in the area by adding gardens and public spaces.
Tim Williams, CEO of Oxford United, said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face, and football has an important role to play in tackling it.
“Oxford United is committed to improving sustainability in the EFL and are proud to have signed up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
“This is a club-wide commitment across all our operations and we have a clear strategy to ensure we become one of English football’s most environmentally friendly clubs.
“Central to our vision is our plan for our new stadium, which will have sustainability at its core. It will act as a blueprint for future design and transform how modern stadia operate with the future of our planet in mind.
“As the county’s sole professional club, we’re mindful of our responsibility to lead the way in taking action against climate change and using the reach of Oxford United to inspire our community to work together towards a more sustainable future.”
If constructed, the new stadium would be one of the greenest in the UK. Technology would include using 3,000m2 of solar panels to generate electricity and heat recovery solutions to maximise thermal efficiency. Heat pumps would provide an estimated 80% reduction in CO2 emissions per year when compared to gas boilers.
The stadium would include drainage systems, rain storage and recycling solutions to re-use rainwater to improve biodiversity, while plans to enhance biodiversity on the land at the Triangle would achieve a significant net gain.