Manchester United has been hailed as the first English football club to gain the international standard for environmental management systems, taking another step towards its goal of becoming "the best" on and off the pitch.
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville received the ISO14001 standard yesterday as part of his the role as the club's new environmental ambassador, marking the latest in a string of green announcements from Old Trafford.
The ISO14001 is designed to help an organisation curb its environmental impact by developing a strategic approach to cutting carbon emissions and waste.
The club has implemented a range of environmental measures including reducing lighting, introducing new controls on heating and air conditioning systems, and launching a communications policy to encourage fans to recycle and travel to matches on public transport.
"It's fantastic to see that Manchester United has been recognised for its efforts in environmental management," said Neville. "I know that the club is extremely committed to improving sustainability and this certification proves we're heading in the right direction."
Manchester United also secured the Carbon Trust Standard in 2010 and said it is now planning to achieve the ISO20121 Sustainable Events Management standard, when it is launched later this year, meaning the club would potentially be the first to gain three separate green management standards.
The club also topped the government's first Carbon Reduction Energy Efficiency league table last year, designed to rank all of the UK's large organisations according to how they manage their energy use.
Michael Bolingbroke, chief operating officer for Manchester United, said the club takes environmental management very seriously.
"Being certified to an international standard is testament to all the hard work across the club," he said. "It's a real boost to receive this recognition for the work we've been doing for many years."
Manchester United said it has also saved more than £500,000 (US$787,000) through its efforts to become more sustainable over the years.
This article originally appeared on BusinessGreen.