Everton Embraces Green Football Weekend

This weekend, clubs again take centre stage as part of Green Football Weekend, as the world's largest climate-football campaign mobilises fans, clubs, leagues and partners to take action on climate. 

Here at Everton, we want to take this opportunity to highlight the sustainability drive undertaken ahead of, during and following the construction of our new stadium, at Bramley-Moore Dock. 

We also reaffirm our commitment that Everton Stadium will be one of the most environmentally friendly stadiums ever built - and aims to be the most sustainable in the Premier League! 

Sustainability lies at the heart of Everton Stadium. 

As the Club’s future home rises majestically on the banks of the River Mersey in the north of the city, no stone has been left unturned to ensure Everton Stadium lives up to its target of being the most sustainable in the Premier League. 

From the very foundations on which the stadium lies, to the tallest roof panel, environmental concerns have been considered at every level to rubber-stamp a commitment made by the Club, for its fans. 

Alix Waldron, Principal Lead - Stadium Development Project Management at Everton, explained: “Sustainability is at the forefront of the new stadium build, quite simply because it’s the right thing to do and the way the world is moving. 

“Obviously, it assisted us with all the different planning consents we required to get this project off the ground, but it was always a desire from our board to be the ones to set that standard and be the most sustainable stadium in the Premier League.  

“Also, our fans told us they wanted it to be. Part of the 11 key principles at the outset, as part of our fan engagement pieces, was around harnessing our environment and building a stadium that we can all be proud of, so incorporating all the sustainability elements just felt natural.  

“Saying we want to be the most sustainable stadium in the Premier League is a bold statement to make, but saying it so early meant that we could build that into the design from the outset. We had the opportunity to build the infrastructure in from day one.” 

Those design features include the 480,000 cubic metres of compacted sand on which the stadium sits, which was harvested from the bed of the Irish Sea and pumped into the reclaimed, semi-derelict dock. 

The construction process has seen contract partner Laing O’Rourke exceed their ambitious target of re-using 95% of all materials on site, and reinstall heritage assets from the Dock’s heyday, including railway lines, mooring posts, cobbles and capstans. 

And as the 52,888-seater stadium took shape, the health and safety of the workforce, along with waste elimination, was achieved using a pioneering system of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA). 

This entailed pre-cast concrete terrace units and external brickwork panels being manufactured under factory conditions, and slotted into place on site, dramatically minimising wastage, improving safety and saving valuable time. 

A fan survey held back in 2018, during the consultation process, suggested that 60% of fans wanted to use public transport when visiting the new stadium. 

In readiness for an increase in numbers, the Club is therefore set to upgrade queuing facilities at nearby Sandhills train station, while the close proximity to the city also means more fans will have the opportunity to travel on foot, or via a looping matchday shuttle bus services that will run between the stadium and the city. 

“There are two strands to sustainability for us,” added Waldron. “The most obvious is environmental, including all the green initiatives and doing all we can to reduce our carbon footprint. 

“Things like DfMA and planting greenery and trees in the adjoining Fan Plaza, to contribute to our bio-diversity calculation, all help. The stadium will have solar panels on the south stand roof, and we’ve incorporated rainwater harvesting, so we can catch the rainwater on the roof that can be used for flushing toilets or irrigating the pitch. 

“Every light fitting, including the floodlighting, where possible, will be LED and as well as recycling points across the stadium for fans, and the drive to eliminate single use plastics. 

“The car park will have charging points for electric vehicles, and we have even considered the wildlife. In the adjoining dock we have two cormorant rafts as a permanent fixture, to provide a habitat for the birds that we have effectively displaced.  

“We’ve even provided noise insulation along the dock wall for the birds that fly past during the construction process, and when it is operational. 

“These are all little things, important on their own, but when we add them all up, they make a huge contribution.” 

Waldron, whose role ensures the Club will be ready for operations to commence at Everton Stadium when it finally opens in summer 2025, added: “There is also a social sustainability angle, which entails doing the right thing for the local community and our fans in terms of social action. 

“That’s something Everton are very good at, especially with all we do through Everton in the Community and, more generally through adhering to the club values. 

“There are sustainability guidelines to adhere to, and we’ve worked with our consultant bureau, Buro Happold, from the start to see what targets we could aim for, which can be difficult because a stadium is a unique asset.  

“We had a bespoke model that included targets on the construction itself and sustainability targets that will be set for the actual infrastructure; things like reusable cups, and all of this is a huge undertaking for the club, at a cost.  

“However, it is the right thing to do, and practically it is harder and far more expensive to put sustainability elements in at a later date.  

“This is the way the world will be driven so it’s better, form an environmental view, to implement it now.” 

The opening of Everton Stadium will, of course, signal the end for Goodison Park; the Club’s spiritual home for over 130 years. 

However, a unique regeneration initiative will ensure the historic site remains sustainable moving forward. 

The Club has consulted with the local community to identify what the community might need now, and in the future, and will be using Goodison to create these facilities; delivering new housing, health facilities, education amenities, sheltered housing for elderly people, youth zone and business start-up facilities.  

Everton and its official charity’s proposals will embed the Club within the community it has called home for generations to come, complementing the £10m of investment the Club and Everton in the Community has already made by converting derelict buildings and land into thriving community assets, including The Everton Free School, The People’s Hub (community centre), The Blue Base (function space) and the mental health support facility The People’s Place.