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Banks o’ Dee Sports Club are on a sustainability journey working towards net zero

The Scottish Football Partnership have sponsored LED floodlighting at Spain stadium in Aberdeen to help the club become more sustainable and aim towards Net Zero Carbon.
Pictured are Stuart MaCaffrey from the Football Partnership along members of one of Banks o' Dee Albion's youth teams, from left, Davi Howe, Timothy Ogedengbe, Jake Ledford and Jake Winton. Picture by Paul Glendell
The Scottish Football Partnership have sponsored LED floodlighting at Spain stadium in Aberdeen to help the club become more sustainable and aim towards Net Zero Carbon. Pictured are Stuart MaCaffrey from the Football Partnership along members of one of Banks o' Dee Albion's youth teams, from left, Davi Howe, Timothy Ogedengbe, Jake Ledford and Jake Winton. Picture by Paul Glendell

Banks o’ Dee Sports Club are making big strides on their pathway towards net zero emissions with the installation of new LED floodlights and solar panel ambitions.

Net zero means the level of carbon dioxide emissions going into the atmosphere are balanced out with the removal out of the atmosphere.

The club, on Abbotswell Road, worked with Zero Waste Scotland, who helped identify areas which they could improve going forward to make their operation more efficient and sustainable.

One such area which was identified was the floodlights at Spain Park – part of the Banks o’ Dee Sports Club facility – which were deemed financially and environmentally wasteful.

The pitch is home to North Region Junior Superleague champions Banks o’ Dee, as well as their Banks o’ Dee Albion youth sides, while also being used for small-sided football matches and other activities.

With substantial rising energy costs – the club’s energy bill has nearly tripled within the last six months –  they needed a way to reduce energy consumption by having the flexibility of only lighting the parts of the pitch that are being used.

Banks o’ Dee general manager Iain Watson said: “It was not viable to progress with the old kind of floodlights without having to put on substantial costs to all our user groups.

“That was the first step towards the sports club’s pathway to becoming net zero, because the floodlights are our biggest consumer.

“We had to look at a different pathway of going forward and substantially reducing our carbon footprint and getting our energy costs more manageable.

“Floodlights was a key thing. We saw huge spikes in our energy bills when we turned the old ones on, but the technology for LED’s have moved on so much.

“We now have this flexibility of controlling the floodlights and they use 65% less power than our previous ones.

“There’s a substantial saving there, both financially and environmentally.”

The floodlights were replaced in mid-January this year, with the new LED lights being partially funded by the Scottish Football Partnership.

Banks o’ Dee were awarded a Grassroots Facilities Fund grant worth £10,000, which supported 25% of the installation costs.

The new LED floodlights can be lit per pole and switched on with a different lux level so that full power isn’t the only option.

The new LED floodlights will make a considerable difference, financially and environmentally, as the club work towards net zero.

The funding helped the club on its way to becoming net zero, and ensures they can continue to provide quality services to their users without hiking prices to subsidise high energy bills.

A journey towards self-sufficiency

The next step of Banks o’ Dee Sports Club’s sustainable pathway is to install solar panels, with this proposal currently in the planning permission stage.

With the sports club a registered charity, they have been able to again benefit from more funding like the award given by the Scottish Football Partnership.

In their bid to install solar panels, the club has received funding from the CARES fund as part of the the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme.

By improving the sustainability of the facility, Watson reckons they are doing what needs to be done to ensure a better and more sustainable sporting future for the local area.

He added: “It’s been quite a journey, but we’re getting there.

“I think we’re about one of the only clubs going forward in this, especially in the sporting side of things.

“The next step is putting solar panels on our roof to generate our own power and storing that in a battery so we can feed the power that the sport club needs going forward.

“If sport is to keep moving forward, you have to become more sustainable.

“Financially and environmentally, you have to be doing the right thing.”

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