Since its launch in November 2021, 120 partners in sport and 22 municipalities representing a total of 2.9 million inhabitants have already started using Sport NL Green (Sport NL Groen, in Dutch). Just the applications received so far will mean annual savings of some 600 tonnes of CO2 €1,400,000 in energy costs. And with the help of free energy coaches, this number looks set to increase greatly in the coming months.
The sports sector is facing a major challenge. Sports clubs are currently facing a double-whammy of pandemic-related issues on the one hand and sky-high energy bills on the other. Gas and energy prices have risen sharply in recent months, and many sports clubs have already received their first energy bill of the year. Some saw their costs effectively double month-on-month. This means that it’s high time to reduce energy costs structurally. It’s the only way we’ll be able to keep sport future-proof.
Sport NL Green was launched to give sports clubs and entrepreneurs a helping hand. Gerben van Hardeveld, Sports Infrastructure Programme Manager at NOC*NSF, says, “We are seeing a growing demand for sustainability among sports clubs, as this can structurally reduce energy costs. But we also see that it’s sometimes difficult to navigate through the available measures, subsidies and financing options. That’s why Sport NL Green was created: it’s an online tool that gives you free advice on how to make your sports club more sustainable, with insight into all the available subsidies and most economical loans. But that’s not all, because until 1 July 2022 sports clubs and sports entrepreneurs can also request a free energy coach, a €750 value, right in the tool.”
Paul Steinpatz from the Hilversum-based sports club Wasmeer recently took advantage of one such energy coach for his club. He explains why: “Our new sustainable clubhouse opened its doors in 2017.”
“Then we wanted to take it a step further so, together with an energy coach from De Groene Club, we started looking at the possibilities. In addition to upgrading to LED lighting, we were advised to invest in solar panels through a BOSA subsidy. They were installed in July 2021 and have already saved us over €1,500 on our energy bill. In addition, since last Christmas we have also been able to feed power back into the grid. And that’s a nice little fringe benefit for the club piggy bank.”
Ever since the tool was launched last November, sports associations, clubs and sports entrepreneurs have been discovering it. At this point the applications are pouring in, and requests have been received for concrete offers and more than a few energy coaches. “Looking at the requests that have come in via the tool so far, annual savings of 600 tonnes of CO2 and €1,400,000 are already in the cards for sports facilities across the country,” says Bram Adema, who developed Sport NL Green with his company CFP Green Buildings. “And that’s just the beginning, because sports facilities and sports entrepreneurs just keep finding their way to Sport NL Green.”
Sports entrepreneur Bart Wesseling is one of them. “I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that my dance school was on Sport NL Green. I immediately got interesting insights. Within a few minutes I saw things like the huge savings that could be achieved by insulating the roof: around €24,000 a year. I would therefore advise all sports entrepreneurs to look into whether there might be measures that could save them money. As an entrepreneur, you look at the costs, and I think many will be surprised at how quickly these kinds of measures pay for themselves.”
In addition to sports clubs and sports entrepreneurs, 20 municipalities already use Sport NL Green. The tool gives them insight into all sports facilities within their municipality. This allows them to draw up a roadmap for making the sports properties owned by the municipality more sustainable. For example, the first municipality where the app launched, The Hague, is already making extensive use of Sport NL Green.
Hilbert Bredemeijer, Alderman for Sport at the Municipality of The Hague, explains: “The Hague was the inaugural municipality for the tool, and I am very proud of that. We are now at a point where we can make sport fit for the future, and sustainability and financial health play an important role in this. Sport NL Green fits right in with this goal.”
“With the tool, you as a municipality can see very clearly what it will take to prepare for the future, both in the short and long term. So as the inaugural municipality, I would urge every other municipality to get on board with Sport NL Green.”
Through affiliated sports clubs and municipalities, more than 2.5 million people have been directly or indirectly affected by Sport NL Green already. Rob Berbee of ALTV Daisy explains why he and his tennis club use Sport NL Green: “With Sport NL Green, a club can define a sustainability goal and the board can then use this information in the decision-making process, for example in a general members’ meeting. And I also saw opportunities that we as a club had not yet considered. Some processes are quite complex, and with the help of Sport NL Green everything becomes structured and therefore much more understandable.”
Do you want to start reducing your sports facility’s energy bills right away? Then go to Sport NL Green and see what sustainability can do for your locations.