Arsenal and Spain defender Hector Bellerin has become the second-biggest shareholder at Forest Green Rovers, a lower-tier English side recognised as the world’s greenest football club.
Under chairman Dale Vince, a British green energy industrialist, the League Two club has focused on sustainability, installing solar panels, using a solar-powered robot grass mower and creating an organic pitch.
Forest Green, based in southwest England, are also the world’s first vegan football club.
FIFA has described Forest Green as the greenest football club in the world and they were the first to be certified carbon neutral by the United Nations.
Bellerin, who recently raised money to plant 60,000 trees in the Amazon rainforest, will work with Vince to help promote environmental issues among clubs, leagues and supporters.
“When I first played Forest Green Rovers, all I knew about them was that it was a long way from London,” said the Arsenal defender, who is a vegan.
“As I heard more about the club and its work, I knew I wanted to meet them and be part of it.
“So many people feel there’s no solution to the world’s problems, but Forest Green are already doing plenty — and showing others the way.”
Vince, chairman of Forest Green since 2010, said: “I like Hector’s approach, his personal journey and the things he’s trying to do — they make sense.
“I’m looking forward to working with him on FGR and this wider agenda we have a shared interest in.”