Ahead of the upcoming Green Football Weekend, the Club has launched an initiative to reduce air pollution in Ipswich.
Green Football Weekend, which will run from 3-5 February this year, brings together 80 of the UK’s professional football clubs, fans, families and communities to unleash the power of football on climate change.
Town and its Foundation have partnered with Ipswich CAN (Clear Air Now) and the Ipswich Star in a bid to tackle air pollution in our local area.
More than 38,000 Ipswich residents are living within 500m of areas with air pollution levels above the national target, with Ipswich Borough council having declared four Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) zones across the town.
Exposure to high levels of air pollution can contribute to and be a risk factor for a number of health issues, including strokes, heart disease and lung cancer.
Overall, it is believed long-term subjection to man-made air pollution in the UK has an annual effect equivalent to 28,000 – 36,000 deaths
Most air pollution in Ipswich comes from vehicles, with congestion in the town being an ongoing problem both on matchdays and non-matchdays.
Drivers and passengers within vehicles breathe in several times more of the pollution than cyclists and pedestrians.
Therefore, the Club would like to encourage supporters to think about more sustainable ways of travel for the benefit of everyone in our hometown.
At the same time, the cost implications are something that the Club fully appreciates. The Blues are currently in discussions with local public transport providers with the aim of reaching an agreement for discounted and/or improved rates for fans on matchdays.
Moving forward, the Club, alongside Ipswich Star and Ipswich CAN will be providing further information about sustainable travel.
The Green Football Weekend website also has useful guidance and allows supporters to ‘score green goals’ for the Blues through their sustainable and environment-friendly actions in the coming weeks.
The Town CAN campaign is the second ongoing initiative that the Club have begun to counter pollution in the local area.
In September, the Club relaunched the Think Smart, Think Blue, Recycle campaign alongside Ipswich Borough Council, which originally started in March 2020 but was disrupted by the impact of Covid-19.
That initiative seeks to educate and raise awareness of the importance of recycling and the impact of plastic pollution.
Some of the steps that the Club and the Foundation have taken to reduce its own carbon footprint can be seen below:
- Continued zero waste to landfill policy at Portman Road
- 150,000 single use plastic cups have been eliminated from our venues this season
- Refillable bottles have been given to all staff, with the water machine at Portman Road alone already saving the equivalent of over 5,000 plastic bottles
- Refillable bottles have been given to all Foundation EPDC and ATC camps
- Plant based food alternatives at every matchday