Sustainability score: Brighton & Hove Albion’s green revolution. An interview with Tom Harris

Written by Laura Brown
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Welcome to the captivating world of Lead Better Succeed Better: Stories of Sustainability, where we unravel the stories of sustainability that are shaping industries, communities, and beyond.

In this episode, Laura Brown, Marketing Manager at Brevity Marketing Certified B Corp, sits down with Tom Harris, the dedicated Sustainability Manager of Premier League powerhouse Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. The impact of Albion’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond goals scored on the pitch; it’s a strategic play to reduce single-use plastic during matchdays, cut down on carbon emissions, and inspire Seagulls fans.

Silver linings on and off the pitch

In 2023, the Premier League club clinched the silver medal for their resolute sustainability efforts at the prestigious Football Business Awards. The club’s dedication to minimising single-use plastics is a game-changer. All food packaging is now 100% recyclable, while draught beer flows in 100% biodegradable cups. Plastic straws are a thing of the past, and wooden cutlery is now the norm. Even the iconic Albion kits have undergone a transformation, crafted from recycled polyester, reinforcing the club’s commitment to sustainability.

Beyond the blue and white stripes: greening every corner

It’s not just about what happens on the field. Albion’s commitment to sustainability extends to every corner of the club. The club’s energy sources are 100% renewable, powering upgraded LED lighting across the stadiums. Maintaining the pristine pitch involves electric mowers, and the maintenance crew zips around on electric buggies. Notably, 400 solar panels gleam on the training ground’s rooftop, offsetting carbon emissions and spotlighting the club’s dedication to a cleaner future.

(C) Paul Hazelwood

Goals beyond the net

Albion’s pursuits go beyond silverware – their actions off the field have earned them recognition as winners of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Award. The club’s vision extends to crafting a positive impact on both people and the planet, embracing sustainability as part of their ethos.

A chat with the game changer: Tom Harris

Laura kicks off the podcast with a warm welcome to Tom Harris, the man behind Albion’s green transformation. Tom’s journey into sustainability has been a lifelong commitment. Armed with a degree in environmental studies and a master’s in sustainability, he’s donned multiple hats, from aiding families facing energy poverty to spearheading solar installations in schools. His entry into Albion was a match made in sustainability heaven, aligning his passion for football with his drive for a greener world.

Building a sustainable game plan

Tom’s role as the Sustainability Manager is a testament to Albion’s dedication to becoming a beacon of sustainability in the Premier League. Sustainability discussions are a staple at board meetings, and a special sustainability working group guides strategic decisions across departments. Tom is at the helm of crafting a comprehensive sustainability strategy, ensuring that the club’s commitment to sustainability permeates its very culture.

Game changers on and off the field

Awards and certifications shine as beacons of Albion’s green journey. The club’s victory at the Football Business Awards and their fifth-place rank on the Sports Positive League are evidence of their strides. They’re also keen participants in government-mandated sustainability efforts like the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) and the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Uniting fans for a more sustainable future

Tom and Laura dive into the role football can play in inspiring positive change. The global fan base of the sport offers a unique platform for engaging people in sustainability. The emotional connection fans have with their teams is akin to the passion felt for the planet – both evoke a sense of hope, progress, and the drive to create a better future.

Strategies for victory: fans and clubs unite

Tom brings forth actionable insights for fans and organisations alike. Fans can make a difference by embracing sustainable travel to matches, choosing options like walking, cycling, or public transport.

Organisations should focus on supply chains and scope three emissions, understanding that sustainability spans beyond the match itself.

Sustainable food packaging at the Amex Stadium
Seagulls Travel

A quick pitstop for fans travelling on coach to an away game.

A sustainable scorecard: Albion’s future

The conversation wraps up with Tom sharing his vision for Albion’s sustainable future. Initiatives like the Staff Environmental Network Group and comprehensive carbon footprint calculations are on the horizon. Albion’s journey is an inspiration for fans, clubs, and communities around the world.

Listen up: shaping a greener tomorrow

Tom’s insights are just a glimpse into Albion’s sustainability journey. For the full picture, tune into the podcast and discover how Premier League football is championing green practices and inspiring change. From reducing plastic waste to powering up with renewables, Albion is proving that the beautiful game can also be a sustainable one. So, grab your headphones and join the conversation. The pitch isn’t the only place where victories are celebrated – sustainability is scoring big at Albion, and you won’t want to miss it.

And be sure to check out the other interviews in the series, too! Featuring ECE Architecture, World of Books and Includability!

Brevity is a B Corp certified marketing agency. Contact us today and discover how we can help your business thrive while staying true to your values. From sustainable strategies to community-focused campaigns, we’re committed to driving sustainable growth without compromising ethics.  Call us on 01256 536 000 or email

Meet likeminded professionals at People, Planet, Pint – an informal monthly networking event for anyone who wants to have conversations and share insight about sustainability and how to use their business for good. Brevity hosts People, Planet, Pint in Basingstoke, Hampshire and Worthing, West Sussex.