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FM provider 14forty reports on how it is helping Edgbaston Warwickshire County Cricket Club prepare its grounds for the winter months

Edgbaston, located in Birmingham, is not your average cricket club. One of the most prestigious Test Match venues globally, what sets this club apart is not just its sporting excellence but its unwavering commitment to sustainability. As the year-round facilities management service provider for Edgbaston, we play a pivotal role in ensuring the club’s sustainability goals become a reality.

One of Edgbaston’s primary objectives is to become the most sustainable cricket venue in the UK, with an ambitious target of operating as a net zero venue by 2030. This is no small feat, considering the club’s capacity to host up to 25,000 fans on a match day and accommodate up to 2,000 banqueting guests.

To achieve these goals, the club has launched various initiatives, with a focus on waste management, use of local produce, and reduced energy consumption. As their total facilities management provider, we play a pivotal role in supporting these initiatives, tailoring our approach to meet the unique needs of each season.


Unlike traditional office buildings, sports stadia like Edgbaston experience a distinct off-season, typically from October to April, but the venue must remain operational for occasional events or conferences.

This presents a unique challenge from a sustainability perspective. During the off-season, a considerable amount of energy, water, and resources would go to waste if not managed efficiently.

Strategically turning off gas and water supplies in areas not in use, is one way of overcoming this and something as simple as placing informative signs on doors can remind club staff and visitors to reserve resources.

A full transition to low-energy LED lighting and smart sensors play a significant role in this effort, by controlling lighting in areas that might see use during the winter. This removes the worry of staff or visitors wasting electricity by leaving lights switched on for longer than necessary.

For further optimisation, sensors are installed above toilet entrances, calculating the number of people who have used the facilities. Notifications are sent to operatives when specific thresholds are reached, ensuring efficient cleaning schedules, conserving water, and reducing chemical use.

Sensors are also integrated into toilet roll holders and towel dispensers to prevent the over-ordering of supplies. Any remaining stock is redistributed within the stadium, especially to areas expected to have higher footfall during the winter months.


In Edgbaston’s case, when it comes to cleaning for winter shutdowns, outdoor spaces still need to be presentable and hygienic in case of the occasional winter event.

But here’s our ultimate top tip: avoid deep cleaning outdoor equipment and furniture as they will only get dirty again before the new season begins. This will result in doubling handling, meaning double the water, chemicals, energy and labour.

One of the key concerns when it comes to cleaning in winter is minimising germs and bugs. Winter sees the typical spike in cold and flu viruses, so doing our best to keep spaces clean and sanitised to prevent the spread of these germs is key.

For this, we use Tersano Ozone, an environmentally friendly cleaning product that requires less water than traditional alternatives. This product attracts and eliminates bacteria and germs, leaving behind only water and pure oxygen. It is safe for use on various surfaces, including food preparation areas, contributing to both cleanliness and sustainability.

During our partnership with Edgbaston, we have analysed all aspects of our business for potential improvements. We’re not just about bricks and mortar; we invest in our team members too, a critical component of our day-to-day operations.

On any given day at the club, we require anywhere between 10 to 100 team members, depending on the event schedule.

To reduce Edgbaston’s carbon footprint, as well as our own, we have prioritised recruiting part-time staff living within a two-mile radius of the stadium.

This approach has proven successful, with the majority of our team living within that radius, and 90 per cent of them using sustainable transportation methods such as walking, cycling, or public transport.

During quieter seasons with longer gaps between events, we prioritise keeping our team members motivated and engaged. This includes providing advanced notice of schedules, offering alternative shifts elsewhere, providing quality meals, regular breaks, and task rotation to keep the work interesting.


We’re proud to say that our collective efforts have yielded impressive results. Waste at the stadium has been reduced by a third, and hundreds of low-energy LED lights have been installed.

In terms of catering, 95 per cent of event food is prepared on-site throughout the year, significantly reducing packaging waste. While a continued use of reusable e-cups has prevented the disposal of three million single-use plastic alternatives.

This dedication to sustainability has not gone unnoticed. In 2022, Edgbaston received a Sustainability Award at the West Midlands Business Masters Awards on November 3rd and another at the ECB Business of Cricket Awards (BOCA) in Manchester on November 10th.

These accolades not only recognise the club’s commitment to sustainability, but also the crucial role that our team played in making it a reality. We are partners in every sense of the word.


About Sarah OBeirne

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