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The GreenSport Forum


 Bringing together community sports bodies, clubs and event organisers, exchanging ideas and experiences on how to reduce the carbon footprint from community sport.


26th April 2022, Birmingham County FA


Strategies, policies, experiences, real stories and successes to be told, lessons to be learnt, ideas and experiences to be shared.



8.45 – 9.30 Registration and Tea/Coffee


9.30 – 9.45 Welcome and setting the scene

Chair, Svend Elkjaer, Founder/Director, Sports Marketing Network/The GreenSport Network

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Svend Elkjaer is founder and director of the Sports Marketing Network, a leading consultancy and information provider with community sport and physical activity. Being described as ‘a positive disruptor’ Svend has worked across the UK and Denmark with all types of providers and funders helping them to become vibrant, visible and viable.

9.30 – 10.05 Engagement: harnessing the football communities to tackle climate 

Katie Cross, Founder, Pledgeball

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Pledgeball is a fan engagement initiative that uses the unique characteristics of the football community to instigate and support the move to sustainable lifestyles.

 Pledgeball works in two ways: fixtures and events.

 The fixtures facility plays upon the fixture calendar, allowing fans to pledge in support of their clubs. Pledges range from car-sharing to going vegan two days per week to installing solar panels. The team that pledges to save the most emissions wins the fixture and the cumulative amount pledged determines their place within the Pledgeball League. Pledgeball partners with clubs and supporters’ groups, such as Bristol City and the FSA, to advocate for climate action.

 The events facility allows grassroots clubs to create a listing on the website, and collectively pledge throughout the season in association with their team. As partners of Birmingham County FA, 100 of their grassroots clubs have a listing on the website.

 Katie Cross Pledgeball in 2019. Pledgeball is a research-proven and driven organisation that mobilises football fans to tackle climate change. Pledgeball works with stakeholders from across the football community, from clubs to County FAs to the FSA. 

Winners of FootballCan2041 and finalists at the World Football Summit, Pledgeball was also invited to speak at COP26 alongside partners Spirit of Football and has been invited to do the same at COP27.

10.05 – 10.40 Empowering grassroots football to support the ambitious goal of creating a low carbon greener game

Richard Lindsay, Business Insights Manager, Birmingham County FA

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Birmingham County FA is one of the largest regional governing bodies in the English Football Association’s network of 47 counties and their membership includes 1200 football clubs and upwards 100,000 regular players.

In June 2021 BCFA launched Save Today, Play Tomorrow the first of its kind sustainability programme in the UK that looks to empower grassroots football to support the ambitious goal of creating a low carbon greener game across the region.

As a local governing body, BCFA recognises the need to act now to ensure the beautiful game significantly reduces its environmental impact, whilst helping to educate those involved in football at all levels to make informed decisions that will shape how much future generations will be able to enjoy and sustain the game in the long term.

The programme is made up of four workstreams that are aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals or SDG’s. In February 2021, to coincide with this work Birmingham County FA were accepted as participatory members of the UN’s Sport for Climate Action Framework, the first County FA to do so.

Richard Lindsay has been at Birmingham County FA for 4 years as Business Insights Manager and is part of the Senior Leadership Team. Richard is accountable for collating and assessing business information and insights, raising efficiencies to support project delivery, and enabling the creation of future business strategies.

10.40 – 11.15 How Shoreham FC are focusing on the main contributors to climate change energy, transport and food/catering

Stuart Slaney, Co-Chairman, Shoreham FC

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11.15 – 11.40 Tea/Coffee


11.40 – 12.15 How community sports organisations can become more sustainable

Thom Rawson, Head of Sustainability, Football For Future

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12.10 – 12.40 How sustainability is part of everything they do at University of East Anglia’s sports department

Bayley Woodridge and Hugh Braidwood Student Sport & Physical Activity Development Coordinators, University of East Anglia

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13.00 -14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14.35 How Sport and Leisure Organisations can be part of the Climate solution

Jo Little, Business Development Managare, Planet Mark

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To be part of the solution of the climate emergency, we must first understand the current situation and what is our environmental impact – only then can we understand how we can reduce our impact. Moreover, how the Sport and Leisure industry is connected not just inherently with nature but also within our communities, therefore they have a power to be a positive influence towards a Net Zero Carbon society.

 Firstly, I’ll dive into demystifying the terminology of Net Zero, Carbon Neutral, Climate Positive etc. Uncovering what are the three scopes of emissions within a carbon footprint and how this relates to organisations in the Sports and Leisure industry.

And how businesses can start benefitting from embedding sustainability now.

 But most importantly, hopefully to continually inspire listeners to reduce their carbon reduction journey!


Jo Little has vast experience in account management, ensuring the success and delivery of a project runs smoothly and efficiently. Having studied the CISL Business Sustainability Management she’s now working closely with businesses to unlock their potential for transformational change.

14.35 – 15.10 How orienteering are improving on their climate change impact

Emma Monkman, Access and Environment Officer, British Orienteering

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Orienteering started in the late 19th Century in Sweden. Originally designed as a training exercise for the military to navigate unknown areas, some facets of the sport remain unchanged. The preferred terrain for orienteering is forest, heathland, moorland and sand dunes. In short, wild open spaces with a variety of routes are perfect for mapping orienteering courses. Therein lies the biggest challenge in my role – the best places to orienteer are also the best places for nature to thrive.

Orienteering is a relatively low carbon sport. Our greatest challenge, in addition to the one already mentioned, is travel to the remote sites we prefer to orienteer. Orienteer events are characterised by full car parks but almost no other sign that we are there. This is leading to more urban events, which is an exciting development that Emma will share with you.

Emma Monkton was recruited to the post of Access and Environment Officer for British Orienteering in July 2021. This shows a shift in sporting perspectives as until recently environment academics were not considered to have a role in national sports governing bodies

An undergraduate degree in international relations and development led to a masters in environmental politics and climate change. Emma is working in conjunction with her colleagues at the International Orienteering Federation Environment and Sustainability Commission to produce a research paper on the environmental impact

15.10 – 15.25 Tea/Coffee break

15.10 – 15.45 How we can begin to turn things around by incorporating simple and easy changes into all of our daily lives

David Gent, Chief Executive Officer, Active Humber

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15.45 – 16.15 Panel discussion

16.15 Conclusion and finish

The GreenSport Forum