Principality Stadium: aiming high by working towards being “off the grid”
The Principality Stadium is Wales’ major international sports and events venue and is the home of the Welsh Rugby Union. With a capacity of 74,500 and an average of 1.3 million visitors a year, the stadium hosts sports, music and conference events and also offers a range of catering services.
The Principality Stadium, formerly The Millennium Stadium, is the first venue in the UK to achieve the British Standard Sustainable Management Systems for Events, being recognised for its efforts to minimise its carbon impact, reuse material resources, reduce waste and increase recycling. The Stadium began its sustainable venture in 2010 and gained its certification within the first 12 months.
The stadium provided a workshop session with their main suppliers to gather information and gain technical knowledge in resource efficiency – including any initiatives to reduce waste and generate savings. The workshops identified areas where both the stadium and suppliers could achieve these goals through returning, reducing and reusing packaging. By working with their supply chain, the stadium directed 71.52 tonnes of waste from landfill and a consequent reduction of 28.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The stadium has also implemented innovative design on its pitch, switching to a unique palletised pitched system which is capable of harvesting and reusing rainwater collected below the grass beds. The root zone and 40mm rye grass turf is redistributed for use at rugby clubs through Wales.
Additional design elements include infra red controls fitted in the urinals to prevents unnecessary flushing, meters to monitor energy and water consumption, new LED lighting and lighting controls and alternative methods of water heating to allow boilers to be shut down in summer. These measure have seen savings of 60.8 tonnes of CO2 made from reduced raw materials use, water and energy use.
The stadium now recycles around 98% of its waste and all food waste is composted savings 78 tonnes of waste from going to landfill and saving £21,000 per year. All their energy comes from renewable sources however they are currently looking in to putting solar PV on their roof working closely with the Low Carbon Research Institute on sourcing the technology and the logistics of fitting the panels to produce all its own energy and become entirely self-sufficient and “off the grid”. This would make the Principality Stadium, the first stadium in the world to do this. The stadium and WRU are keen to focus on community engagement, looking at how they can socially benefit Wales.