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Fan Sustainability Survey Insights & Actions

12th January 2024 By The Editor

A view of the LED lights at Thomond Park.

A view of the LED lights at Thomond Park. Inpho

Each season, sustainability is becoming more embedded into Munster Rugby’s operations and events with an action-focused and supporter-centric approach.

This year we asked our supporters to have their say to help us co-design solutions on our journey to becoming a more sustainable club.

Understanding attitudes towards climate change assists us with our communication campaigns. Working with our supporters to enhance the overall matchday experience in sustainable ways is key to implementing the right solutions.

Over a three-week period last July, 877 supporters completed the survey and 436 of those provided further comments and recommendations on sustainability.

We would like to share with you not only the insights from the survey but the actions we are taking as a result. Some of these actions you can see and get involved with on matchdays this season.

Survey Insights

Click here to open the survey insights with page one below.

Actions

Actions can include physical changes at stadiums which you can see and touch, or how we travel to get there. Actions can also mean using our influence to lead by example and raise awareness of the issues. Sport can make a difference. By coming together our collective action can lead to transformative change with positive benefits for all.

Actions directly relating to supporters’ key concerns and suggestions provided in the survey:

Waste – Segregation

Addressing waste was a key item for supporters. Improved new bins have been installed on the concourses this season at Thomond Park. We aim to improve segregation and recycling rates, working closely with our waste management partners. We hope to install similar bins in Musgrave Park over the coming season.

Waste – Reduction

We have been working on reducing single-use plastics across the club and it remains a significant ongoing challenge. Water refill stations have now been installed with our partners ONA at the HPC and our offices at Thomond Park and Musgrave Park which will greatly reduce the number of plastic bottles used. Roll out to concourses at stadiums for supporter use will begin this year.

As a top priority item in this category, we are working with our suppliers on designing the best solution for alternatives to single-use plastic cups. This has posed a significant challenge due to limited facilities available and constraints in our part of Ireland to ensure a solution which has minimal environmental impacts. We hope you will be patient will us as we work on the best option.

Flag Collection Boxes

You will now find these in Thomond Park at each of the four exit gates and additional ones at the East Terrace South and West Terrace South.

There will also be boxes at Virgin Media Park. Please look after your flag and drop it into the collection boxes provided after the game. We will ensure it is reused again if in good condition.

Pyrotechnics

As a result of concerns from some survey respondents, we have reviewed the carbon emissions from our flame effect machines in more detail. New data shows that combined, the 6 machines fuelled with propane canisters emit < 35kgCO2e per match. Roughly equivalent to one car driving from Cork to Dublin. These will remain in place for key fixtures this season but we will continue to work towards an emission-free alternative with our suppliers or phase out in the coming seasons.

Renewable Energy

Last season we installed a significant solar panel array of 258kWp at Musgrave Park with our partners Pinergy. This season we are finalising their full connection to the national grid and to our building and lighting systems. This will generate our own electricity to power much of the operations on site. We will publish more detailed information on these in the coming months.

Transport and travel

We intend to improve matchday travel each season by raising awareness, engaging with supporters to work together to facilitate solutions, and collaborate with transport operators and councils on providing alternative options and infrastructure improvements.

The ‘Munster March’ is our first fan travel campaign in partnership with adidas. This aims to bring together Munster supporters of all ages to march to matches to raise awareness of the club’s commitment to environmental sustainability and climate action and to enhance the matchday experience. This was piloted at the Munster v Bayonne game on December 9 with supporters walking from Limerick City Centre to Thomond Park and we will be doing it again ahead of the Northampton match next weekend.

To read more on our journey to becoming a more sustainable club – please read our first ‘Environmental Impact and Sustainability Report’ here.

Thank You

We would like to thank everyone who completed the survey. Your ideas are important to us. Above is only a snapshot. There were hundreds of comments which provided us with inspiration to tackle the difficult challenges, and insights into the way we should do this to remain true to who we are as a club. We are still working on many other areas where suggestions were provided.

Supporters are encouraged to continue to provide us with feedback on sustainability each season via the annual survey, as we take action together and continue to develop an overall strategy to bring about real positive changes.

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