Football fans across the country are taking steps to be more eco-friendly while cheering on their teams, with recycling packaging from matchday refreshments proving the most popular action.
A survey of 100 fans from each club in the top flight were asked a range of questions about their eco-friendly habits – from recycling and reducing energy waste to how they travel – in order to crown a sustainable champion.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) ensure they don’t leave lights on in an empty room while watching from home and 29 per cent will only boil the kettle with the amount of water they need during their half-time tea break.
Half of the fans polled have a smart meter installed, and 89 per cent of these credit it for helping them to reduce their energy consumption and therefore, their carbon footprint.
It also emerged that when travelling to stadiums, public transport is the most popular way for supporters to get around, followed by carpooling with other fans.
Victoria Bacon, director at Smart Energy GB, which commissioned the league table, said: “This new eco league table shows how fans of the clubs in England’s top flight are performing based on their sustainable habits.
“Some have a lot to improve on, but many are going above and beyond to be green when watching the beautiful game.
“While there are a few fanbases who are staring down the barrel of relegation when it comes to their eco behaviour, there are easy changes they can make to steer clear of the drop zone.
“And something as simple as requesting a smart meter installation is just one way to help make a small difference to your carbon footprint and make the country greener as a whole.”
The 'beautiful game' needs more sustainability
With The Foxes coming out on top, Fulham, Tottenham and Brighton fill out the rest of the top four.
Rivals Liverpool and Manchester United grabbed the last two European qualification positions in the league.
However, it is mid-table mediocrity for some of the traditional ‘big six’ – as Arsenal, Manchester City, and Chelsea came ninth, tenth and thirteenth, respectively.
Facing the drop in the bottom three is Leeds, who prop up the table, Wolves and newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
The research shows that 23 per cent haven't purchased their team's new kit this season after buying last year’s jersey.
In fact, 33 per cent will hang on to old shirts for sentimental reasons or for their collection, while a further one in three will donate them to charity shops.
Overall, 62 per cent believe the beautiful game should do more to become more sustainable.
Fans would like to see only recyclable packaging used in stadiums (32 per cent), solar panels on stadium roofs (31 per cent) and stadiums powered on clean energy (30 per cent).
A quarter (24 per cent) even want more locally sourced products available on the concourse in grounds and many like the idea of paperless ticketing (29 per cent) to reduce waste.
Fans are willing to change habits when enjoying the game
Interestingly, 60 per cent of fans also recognise their fellow supporters should also be doing more to reduce their emissions when watching their team play.
And 63 per cent of these think more incentives from clubs and the leagues would help encourage more fans to follow suit.
For 40 per cent of the fans polled via OnePoll, they are willing to change their habits when enjoying their team in action – but are not sure what more they can do.
Victoria Bacon, from Smart Energy GB, added: “It is fascinating to learn about the habits of the fans of some of England’s biggest clubs and it’s great to see that many are actively reducing their energy use with the help of a smart meter.
“And for many of these, they are utilising smart meters to reduce their usage.
"They’re installed at no extra cost by your energy supplier and by getting one, you’ll be able to see your energy usage in near real time and in pounds and pence via a handy in-home display, which will help you to reduce the amount you use.”
League table of the most eco-friendly football fans
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Manchester United
- West Ham
- Manchester City
- Aston Villa
- Crystal Palace
- Nottingham Forest