Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has joined the Forest Green Rovers family, becoming the second largest shareholder at the club. The 25-year-old has actively been involved in a number of environmentally-friendly based deeds during his career.
Forest Green are recognised by both the United Nations and Fifa as the world’s greenest football club.
The Spanish international has been attracted by Forest Green’s environmentally friendly approach to football, and was first made aware of their sustainable stance in a pre-season friendly against the club in 2014.
Arsenal Defender Hector Bellerin Becomes the Second Largest Shareholder at Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers’ Recent Transformation On and Off the Field
A decade ago, Forest Green were a club that were content with being in England’s fifth tier. However, in 2010, the club was transformed following investment from green energy industrialist Dale Vince.
Vince came with a vision of creating a ‘green’ football club and has been very successful in doing so thus far. Numerous eco-friendly innovations, coupled with Vince and his staff’s commitment to the environment, has allowed for Rovers to be recognised as the world’s greenest football club.
In 2015, Forest Green became the world’s first vegan football club. The decision was based on the huge environmental and animal impacts of livestock farming, and the dedication to improve player performance. By 2017, the club was recognised as the first carbon neutral sports club.
The Environment is a Shared Interest Between the Pair
Being vegan himself, Bellerin is also passionate about environmental issues that impact our planet. He has previously expressed his concerns about the future of our planet and the social responsibility footballers have in environmental issues.
The Spaniard has particularly tried to use his influence to draw attention to deforestation and climate change. A recent project with non-profit organisation One Tree Planted, saw Bellerin fund the planting of 60,000 trees. His initial target of 30,000 was doubled by the generosity of fans from Arsenal and their rivals.
Speaking to the club website, Bellerin said: “I was really excited when I first discovered the opportunity.
“Forest Green Rovers proves that any club can be sustainable. With the new stadium, being carbon neutral and vegan, the club is doing some mind-blowing work.”
The club’s chairman and majority shareholder Dale Vince is extremely excited to get working with Bellerin.
He said “I like Hector’s approach, his personal journey and the things he’s trying to do. I’m looking forward to working with him on our projects at FGR and this wider agenda we have a shared interest in.”