SWINDON Town has signed up to the EFL’s Green Clubs’ initiative and has vowed to improve the club’s sustainability once the County Ground has been purchased from Swindon Borough Council.

The Green Clubs’ scheme – launched in early October – was created in part by Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince in order to help support clubs across the country to improve their environmental practices and operations.

With the recent meeting of world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) making headlines regarding countries’ carbon footprint and sustainability models, Town had already begun their own plan to make the County Ground more eco-friendly.

In an exclusive interview with Adver Sport, CEO Rob Angus admitted while it can’t happen immediately, there are plans in place to develop the County Ground and other branches of Town’s existence “through a green lens.”

He said: “Once we buy the ground – we’re looking to obtain the agreement from the council by February – then we have an opportunity to look at the development through a green lens.

“We’ll have to consider and assess the cost of things such as solar panels and renewable energy.

“It’s obviously not going to happen right now given the work we have to do to repair the financials etc, but it is on our agenda.

“We’re signed up to this initiative, and we do small things like Fred (maintenance manager) only turning the floodlights on at the last minute on a match day.

“We recycle a lot of things too, and we all go around at the end of the game and make sure all the heating and lights are turned off.

“We’re doing some basic things, but there are more things that we want to do, and we’ll have the opportunity to do more once we’ve bought the ground.”

Town’s general manager, Matt Waters, revealed the EFL is sending around a survey in which clubs can explain what they do to help the environment and reduce waste currently so that others can learn from them and good practice can be shared.

Looking a little closer to home, Waters said the process of testing more sustainable equipment has already started taking place at the County Ground.

Town believe it’s important so that when the time comes to purchase new equipment, the club can be prepared to buy green tools that also do the job to the required standard.

Waters said: “There are a lot of things that are energy efficient, but they don’t do a good enough job, so it’s good to trial things like electric mowers.

"We can look at these things knowing it might cost a little bit more, but – as part of this initiative that we’ve signed up for – we can go with it with confidence.”