Forget 4-2-2-2.......its time for 'More-Tree-Tree'!
Saints have today pledged to plant and preserve 3,000 trees in the UK over the next four years, with the help of their home-grown talent.
The Club have confirmed, for every Academy player making their first team debut, 250 trees will be planted as part of a new Home Grown Initiative - contributing to Saints ambition of reducing carbon emissions.
Based on the Club's forecast that three players will make a senior debut each season, Saints hope to offset 3,000 tonnes of CO2.
They also plan to preserve 3,000 trees overseas, which will assist in the overall goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Speaking about the Home Grown Initiative, Dan N'Lundulu, Saints' most recent Academy graduate - having made his first team debut against Everton in October 2020 - said, "I’m proud to have started my career at Southampton FC, a club that is as passionate about supporting and developing its young players as it is about supporting the environment."
N'Lundulu continued, "After making my first team debut in October, it’s great to know I now have 250 trees being planted in Southampton in my name this year. With the club’s reputation for giving young players a pathway into the first team, I don’t think it will be long until the next batch is being planted!"
The Home Grown Initiative forms part of a broader Saints sustainability strategy named The Halo Effect.
Launching this January, The Halo Effect has a dual meaning, inspired by the Club's crest and heritage.
The strategy itself encompasses four key pillars, which will all be embedded within Saints' values and vision moving forward. These are:
"The future of football is dependent on the sustainable work clubs do today. Southampton promises to live within its means and only ever use what it needs. More will be given back than taken away with the launch of the pioneering Home Grown Initiative, to help reach carbon neutral status by 2030."
"It’s important to Southampton to always play the right way, on and off the pitch, by committing to running a club that prioritises safety, ethics, equality, and diversity, with the ultimate goal of maintaining the Advanced Premier League Equality Standard."
"Southampton is dedicated to supporting its community to ensure the city and the surrounding region can thrive as a place to work, live, and prosper. This commitment will be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including through the work of Saints Foundation."
"Fans are the lifeblood of a football club and Southampton promises to treat all of its fans fairly and equally, reward their loyalty and encourage dialogue, whilst providing an outstanding and accessible venue to add to their enjoyment of the game."
Alongside a number of sustainability schemes already in operation across St. Mary's and Staplewood, the new Home Grown Initiative will further support Saints in reaching their ambitious 'carbon neutral' goal.
Article by Ben Stanfield