Last August, in a first for the League, Arsenal’s Emirates stadium – one of the most iconic sporting arenas in London with a 60,000-plus seating capacity – switched to 100% renewable energy.
Even more eye-catching was the fact that the club opted not to go with a global utility behemoth, but with independent supplier Octopus Energy; a startup that’s aiming to “shake-up” the market, according to its Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Greg Jackson.
“Nothing behind our service provision and Arsenal’s commitment to 100% renewable energy is cosmetic or adulterated in any way. It is what it says on the tin. So when you see the stadium lit by its 3 megawatt lights for evening soccer, they are running completely on renewable energy generated in real-time from plants using anaerobic digestion,” Jackson says.
Octopus Energy and Arsenal first started talking in 2016, “It was a breath of fresh air to find a club of Arsenal’s stature to be as keen on renewable energy as us. But what was a pleasant surprise for us was also one that makes sense for Arsenal’s brand.
“They wanted to make sure it was genuinely green energy that was financially sensible, i.e. supplied at not too dissimilar a price to their existing tariff. So we came together via a business partnership firmly believing that Octopus Energy as a supplier and Arsenal as a global sporting outfit can play a part in changing the world.”
It was an impact statement that went down well among English soccer fans of all stripes despite the fierce and intense rivalry the League is known for. “Going green extends beyond soccer turf wars. Arsenal fans are proud of the move, and other fans want their clubs to follow suit.”
And since Arsenal’s move, Jackson says “a least half a dozen” sporting outfits have approached his company.
“This is a sign of times. Large companies and site operators are aiming to go entirely renewable with a mission statement to lower their carbon footprint; for instance our typical customers such as hotels and mid to large offices.”