Wembley Stadium is an iconic venue of major cultural and sporting significance to people all over the world. The 90,000 capacity Stadium conjures history, culture, identity, occasion and aspiration.
In this respect, Wembley Stadium’s achievements are important to the public, and as a leader in environmental sustainability its commitment to improving its environmental performance has the potential to inspire and influence its partners, suppliers and the thousands of visitors a year who attend its events.
Over the past four years, the Board and senior management at Wembley Stadium have made sustainability a core business objective and have put in place a number of initiatives designed to manage the Stadium’s environmental impacts. A robust approach to sustainability is now embedded into the Stadium’s day-to-day operations.
As part of a formal Environmental Management System (EMS), an Environmental Policy has been developed and a Green Team comprised of senior management and key stakeholders meets quarterly to report on progress in implementing the EMS across Stadium activities. In addition, a number of Green Team working groups meet regularly. These groups are responsible for improving environmental performance in five priority areas (Energy, Water, Waste, Transport and Procurement). Sustainability consultancy Eco Age supports Wembley Stadium in these sustainability activities.
The Stadium enthusiastically engages its staff, supply chain, clients and other stakeholders in its sustainability programme through a coordinated communications programme that supports all five priority areas. An example is the successful ‘Switched On to Switching Off’ energy reduction campaign for staff, in which the ‘Energy Referee’ issued offenders with yellow and red cards for equipment left on overnight. The Stadium shares best practice and achievements in staff engagement campaigns and staff intranet. The priority has been for the Stadium to first get its own house in order before communicating externally about its environmental achievements.
The Wembley Stadium Environmental Management System (EMS) covers energy, waste, water, transport and procurement. As a result of a systematic approach to managing its impacts, the Stadium has reduced its electricity consumption by 24% since it first opened in 2007. Wembley is committed to ongoing reduction in carbon emissions and is part of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (a mandatory scheme to improve energy efficiency and therefore cut CO2 emissions in large public and private sector organisations). The Stadium has also worked extensively to reduce its waste impacts and is now a ‘zero waste to landfill’ venue, with approximately 60% of its waste being recycled, with the remainder being converted to energy. Long term goals include achieving an 80% recycling rate.
Wembley Stadium achieved an overall reduction of 38% in energy consumption per performance (event) between 2008 and 2009, and compared to the CIBSE energy benchmark for entertainment halls, the Stadium is doing much better than average: electricity consumption is almost half of the average (46% less) and gas consumption is two thirds of the average (31% less).
These achievements have led to the Stadium being awarded a 2 star Industry Green certification from Julie’s Bicycle, a rating which recognises proven carbon reductions, improvements in commitment, understanding and communication of environmental impacts and achievements. The Stadium has also gained the Carbon Trust Standard and the Mayor's Green500 Platinum award.
The Wembley Stadium Green Team continues to embed sustainability throughout its operations, develop its carbon reduction strategy and implement its green travel plan for staff and visitors.
Roger Maslin, Managing Director of Wembley Stadium, says ““Environmental sustainability is a core business objective for Wembley and we are delighted to have achieved the Industry Green mark mark in recognition of our efforts. As with all organisations we have more to achieve, but we are proud to be making real, quantifiable progress."