The move has been driven by president Angel Haro, an industrial engineer by trade who arrived at the Benito Villamarin in 2016. He wants the club to be a benchmark in the fight against climate change and to protect the planet.
Haro’s objective is for Betis to become the most sustainable team in the world. 30% of the club’s members (14,000 people) are under 18.
“Now comes a generation that is very concerned about the environment,” Haro said. “Before, success was accepted without taking values into account. No longer.”
Betis were the first club of the five major European leagues to join Climate Neutral Now in 2019. It’s a United Nations initiative designed for states, organisations, companies and other actors to focus on measuring and reducing their carbon footprint to offset it. The only other football club to have done so are Forest Green Rovers, a club in the fourth tier of English football.
“Betis is different,” said Ramon Alcaron, a general director of Betis’ business sector. “We are the mirror of the people, the least hated team in Spain. We are a very empathetic brand.”
The project began with little details, like posters in the dining offering tips on how to become more sustainable, but has become one of the most ambitious sustainable projects in world football.
The club are running various projects, including reforesting, planting urban gardens and cleaning up the Guadalquivir river. Its stadium will also serve as a means of educating supporters and club employees about recycling and ecological living. Their goal is for Betis to become a totally ecological club.
Featured image courtesy of El Pais.