Football Trade Directory

Wembley Stadium Achieves Highest Standard For Sustainable Events

Wembley Stadium connected by EE has been awarded the highest standard of susta­ina­bility by the Inter­national Organization for Standar­diza­tion [ISO] for its Event Susta­ina­bility Management System [ESMS].


England’s national stadium has been awarded the prestigious inter­national standard of susta­ina­bility in events [ISO 20121] certificate for the high standard of susta­ina­bility work across all its events in order to efficiently regulate the stadium’s social, economic and envi­ron­mental impact.


Developed to coincide with the 2012 London Olympic games, ISO 20121 helps event-related orga­nisa­tions to become more socially responsible, reduce the envi­ron­mental footprint of events and continue to be financially successful. This certi­fica­tion, which comes just a few months after The FA’s Susta­ina­bility Team [FAST] were shortlisted for the Business Green Awards, is a significant milestone for Wembley Stadium and for The FA Group; recognising the company’s commitment to manage the envi­ron­mental and social impacts of major events at the national stadium.


Jon Sellins, The FA’s Operations Director, said: "I am hugely proud of this achievement. FAST has worked extremely hard over the past 18 months to obtain the prestigious ISO 20121 certi­fica­tion, and I would like to thank everyone that has played a role in enabling us to get there. At The FA, we are committed to leaving a positive legacy for Wembley Stadium. Our ESMS and fantastic FAST members are supporting us to achieve this standard to make Wembley Stadium a world-leading and inspi­rational venue.­ I am excited to see what improvements we’re able to make over the coming years to further reduce our envi­ron­mental impacts and ensure our people and communities continue to thrive."


The FA first started developing its ESMS, which is led by Facilities Manager Sarah Smith, with support from susta­ina­bility advisors Eco-Age, in April 2018. The system is implemented by FAST, formed of dedicated employees from across the business and service partners Veolia and Delaware North. FAST has been instrumental in delivering sustainable improvements across the stadium, using the ESMS as a tool to identify ways to reduce the envi­ron­mental footprint of its activities at Wembley Stadium, enhance its workplace and culture, and provide oppor­tuni­ties for the local community.

Efforts have so far focused on addressing the following important susta­ina­bility topics: energy and water; waste; food; transport; community; procurement and commercial partnerships; wellbeing, training and culture. Key achievements for Wembley Stadium include:


  • Zero waste-to-landfill since 2010
  • Donation of 27,825 Wembley Stadium event tickets to community groups in 2018
  • Installation of 16 water bottle re-fill stations around the stadium
  • Imple­men­ta­tion of a sustainable procurement policy
  • Completion of susta­ina­bility training for the stadium’s events team
  • Introduction of a compulsory susta­ina­bility training module for all new joiners
  • Introduction of vegetarian and vegan meal options in all areas
  • Organisation of a partner’s susta­ina­bility day to facilitate cross-industry colla­bora­tion
  • Donation of soil from Wembley Stadium to local parks as part of a re-generation initiative
  • Supported the installation of electric vehicle charging points outside the stadium
  • Providing all employees with reusable coffee cups and water bottles
  • Piloting reusable cups and eliminating plastic straws


Sarah Smith, Wembley Stadium Facilities Manager, added: "I am delighted to have our ESMS certified to ISO 20121. This is a huge achievement for Wembley Stadium and for all the employees who continually make an effort to maintain the high standards we have set under our system. Maintaining these standards requires everyone to adapt and change their “business-as-usual” approach. As a multi-use stadium, it can be a real challenge to operate in a more sustainable manner whilst meeting the varying needs of each event, but we’ve been able to make real progress by coming together through FAST and finding solutions that work for Wembley. I am proud to be able to play a part in positioning the stadium as a susta­ina­bility leader and look forward to developing further improvements and implementing more beneficial susta­ina­bility initiatives."



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