Sustainability and rugby

At work, I’ve been working on a project to look at sustainability issues for the Welsh Rugby Union. I’m not a rugby follower but there are plenty of people around me who are. They’re envious that I get paid to tour the Millennium Stadium and study rugby matches so popular that no one can get tickets.

So, a break from the holiday photography — here are some photos from the Millennium Stadium. The full set are in the gallery.


Walking onto the pitch.


Lots of resource issues in this picture. Firstly, the pitch has been imported from Holland. You can’t get high performance pitch from just anywhere.

Secondly, see those gantries on wheels? Those are high energy lights that are shining onto the pitch almost every day to help the grass grow. There is too little light reaching the pitch (and in Cardiff generally) to keep the grass lush. Before these lights were used, the grass would get very patchy.

Thirdly, the video screens — obviously, they use a lot of electricity but we were thinking of how they could be used for public service announcements, like ‘Do you know the four signs of a stroke?’ With 70,000 fans packed into the stadium for each game, it’s an opportunity to raise awareness.


Grounds maintenance crew preparing for the big Wales-Ireland Six Nations match.


Part of our work will look at the branding risks of particular sponsors, as well as how the Rugby Union can partner up with sponsors on outreach and business programmes.


It was a nice day.


Kegs and kegs of beer! Liquor licensing is an issue. I’m told that rugby fans are responsible drinkers compared to the more rowdy football goers. Football matchers are more tense than rugby matches. The fans of the teams need to be segregated because if they’re allowed to mix, there is the risk of punch ups.


Inside the team change rooms.


Inside one of the TV broadcasting suites. We’re looking at how the media travels to and from the match, as well as equity issues related to match scheduling. It appears that media demands for prime time scheduling sometimes conflicts with business hours (and how much local businesses can profit from more activity around Cardiff), as well as public transport timetables.


Joan, sustainability consultant.

One comment

  1. Alden says:


    I’m so envious of you having to enjoy all these things as part of your work! I wish I can say something about mine too.;)

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