Six EFL (English Football League) clubs have teamed up to help combat their environmental impact when they travel. Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers, Mansfield Town and Swindon Town have joined Millwall in the effort. The clubs will now help form the Sustainable Travel Charter.

The group will decide on ways to travel to and from matches in a more environmentally friendly way. Sustainable Travel Charter was formed by a charity called Pledgeball, along with the Football Supporters’ Association and the aforementioned clubs.

Pledgeball chief executive Katie Cross claims that there is a clear “elephant in the room” regarding soccer team travel. “Soccer clubs’ reliance on short-haul flights is a thorn in the side of their wider sustainability strategies,” stated Cross.

“This charter seeks to address the elephant in the room and help clubs incorporate more sustainable travel practices into their operations and lead by example in showing fans and the public that climate action means walking the talk.”

Several top-flight clubs previously under fire for short flights

Premier League teams have received heat recently for opting to fly to matches when driving would suffice. According to a report by the BBC in March, top-flight clubs took 81 separate domestic flights during a two-month stretch.

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper also previously fielded questions regarding his club’s flight to face Blackpool in January. Forest team members took a 20-minute flight from Nottingham to Lancashire for the game. The distance between the two areas is about 135 miles. If taken by bus, the trip would have lasted just a couple of hours.

Other EFL clubs embracing more environmental travel

Meanwhile, Millwall’s chief financial officer Mark Fairbrother released a statement highlighting the importance of sustainability at the team. “Sustainability is a huge focal point of Millwall Football Club’s operations, with strong progress already being made to reduce waste, as well other eco-friendly initiatives,” proclaimed Fairbrother.

Several other English teams are also in discussions with the Sustainable Travel Charter. There have been previous suggestions that flying to matches gives teams a competitive advantage. However, there has been no significant research to officially confirm these claims.

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