Scottish Gas Teams Up With Scottish Rugby
Scottish Gas, part of Centrica, the largest home energy supplier in the UK, has partnered with Scottish Rugby to help the rugby community across Scotland reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.
The deal will involve more than 130 active clubs in all five playing regions of Scotland and could reduce energy consumption by over 50%. The partnership is set to act as a catalyst for all communities to start transforming their buildings into healthier, more comfortable, more resilient places to work and play on the journey to zero-emissions.
A central initiative of the partnership is a £2million joint investment in the Club & Community Net Zero Fund across the five-year deal. Clubs will receive free tailored energy efficiency advice and access grants from the fund to help pay for improvements. Scottish Gas will use Scotland’s largest clubhouse, Murrayfield, as a leading example by providing expert support and advice in order to identify and potentially fund future energy efficiency infrastructure projects.
And it’s not just the nation’s 47,000 rugby players that will benefit - by working directly with clubs, the partnership aims to engage communities across Scotland to deliver on the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions for 2045.
Championing Scotland Women
The deal will support all areas of the game, including the Women’s game through shirt sponsorship for the Scotland Women’s squad as they begin preparations for the new WXV tournament later this year, as well as supporting age grade squads within the women’s development pathway.
Hive, the UK’s leading smart energy platform, will become the naming partner for Edinburgh Rugby’s home, where both they and Scotland Women play domestic fixtures, which will become the Hive Stadium.
In addition, Scottish Gas will become naming partners of Murrayfield Stadium and provide a decarbonisation plan and greener energy supply for the entire Murrayfield Estate from solar, wind, hydro power and biogas. Starting with the upcoming international match when Scotland play Italy on 29 July, the stadium’s official name will be ‘Scottish Gas Murrayfield’.
Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica, owner of Scottish Gas, said: “By partnering with Scottish Rugby, we are supporting communities across Scotland to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills, supporting the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions. Our Club and Community Net Zero Fund gives clubs a much-needed boost, making rugby greener as a sport and freeing up more resources to develop the grass roots game. We are particularly excited about our partnership with Scotland Women.”
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive Mark Dodson hailed the deal as “ground-breaking for our sport” and a significant boost to the organisation’s ambitions around the ESG agenda (Environmental, Societal and Governance) to make a real contribution to creating a greener, cleaner and healthier Scotland, where we can look to the future with increasing confidence."
“Scottish Rugby is starting out on an important journey towards becoming even more energy efficient and is ready to take on its responsibility and play its part in the country’s transition to a lower-carbon future.
“This deal is therefore important in both a sporting and societal context. Unquestionably, it helps to future proof rugby in Scotland for the next generation through significant investment and also the contribution and impact Scottish Gas will be having within our community clubs. Our vision, at the time of cost-of-living challenges for clubs and households, is to provide meaningful support and funding to clubs and communities throughout Scotland."
“This partnership with Scottish Gas will help accelerate our ESG strategy and implementation as we work to fulfil our ultimate ambition: to become a leading global rugby union in the path towards sustainability. We are looking forward to working with Scottish Gas and welcoming them into our family of principal partners, alongside BT, Macron and Peter Vardy.”
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, Mairi McAllan, said: “The race to net zero is one that we must all win. It will continue to be driven by government, but it cannot happen without all of us – individuals, communities and businesses – taking steps as part of a national effort to tackle the climate emergency."
“The sporting sector has a significant role to play within this and I welcome the leadership shown by Scottish Rugby and Scottish Gas in setting up this initiative. It’s not only great to hear plans for the home of Scottish rugby to be decarbonised; rugby clubs are an important part of our communities right across Scotland and this partnership therefore offers very exciting opportunities for thousands of people to play their part in increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs.”
Jamie Farndale, Scottish Rugby’s Sustainability Ambassador and current GB 7s player, said: “The scale of the challenge of getting to net zero by 2045 is huge. I believe sport has a big role to play and can use its platform to support people in lowering their carbon footprints. This partnership, working with local clubs, is a perfect way in which Scottish Rugby can act as a trusted messenger and have a positive impact in communities throughout Scotland.”