01:15PM, Thursday 28 November 2019
Christian Balmes, Rafa Serrano, Paulo Balmes (10), Katja Balmes, Narinder Hunjun (Photo ref:132188-3)
Windsor Lawn Tennis club hopes its efforts to become carbon neutral by the end of 2020 will make it a ‘role model’ and inspire other businesses to be more sustainable.
“I think it’s important to be a role model,” said Christian Balmes, a member of the management committee which runs the club in Royal Windsor Way. “We have a social responsibility and when we can take it we should.”
The club has identified energy, plastic and recycling as three key areas to improve to become more ecologically-friendly.
“We aim to make our club eco sustainable, but importantly to inspire members and other clubs that we can make a difference if we work together,” said Christian.
Over the past six months, the tennis club has reduced its energy by 24 per cent with the use of LED floodlights and sense lights only activated by human activity.
Currently powered by 20 per cent solar energy, the club’s ambition is to be carbon neutral by the end of 2020.
Committee members are also encouraging visitors to use electric cars. They installed Windsor’s first BP Chargemaster, a public electric vehicle charging outlet, in July 2018.
“In October alone we had five charges a day,” said Christian.
It also plans to offset the carbon emissions from club members, who emit an estimated 146 tonnes of CO2 a year driving to the courts, by planting 555 trees every 12 months.
This will be done in partnership with Forest Carbon Ltd, which has planted 7.5 million trees in the UK.
Windsor Lawn Tennis Club is also tackling plastic pollution by banning all single-use plastic by January 2020.
Plastic bottles will be replaced by aluminium cans and water refills.
Upon discovering ‘tennis balls take 450 years to decompose’, Christian said the club will now recycle 1,000 tennis balls a month through the Recyclaball organisation, which will donate 20p for every ball received to the club’s Junior Fund supporting young tennis players.
“We need to be more responsible with what we do to planet earth,” said Christian.
“If everyone starts doing a bit it’s amazing how fast we can make an impact.”
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