Case Study

Railway Union Football Club – Sustainability starts with community

Who’s doing it?

Railway Union Football Club, a south Dublin-based community soccer club, is committed to taking meaningful action towards a sustainable future.

With around 70 volunteers supporting 400 predominantly youth players, this reinvigorated Irish club is showing that grassroots sport can play a key role in driving environmental and social change.

What are they doing?

Starting in late 2019, Railway Union Football Club decided that it would start applying sustainability considerations to its operational and management activity. 

With suggestions bubbling up through all levels of the club – from parents to management – actions taken to date include:

  • Involvement with ‘Football For All’ – targeting greater accessibility, inclusion and diversity for disadvantaged young people.
  • Multi-year programme to build and develop girls football from Academy up.
  • Promotion of active training/match travel – players and parents encouraged to walk/cycle if possible (& car pool to away).
  • Minimising waste through the club, and showcasing responsible consumption/re-use.
  • Ban on single use plastics at club training or matches.
  • Partnerships with local sustainability-focused providers (including Wolfhound & Elk, KT Nets and

Why are they doing this?

The management committee, led by Chairperson Michael Flynn, believes this is a natural extension of the club’s role and impact within the community.

With an ethos of developing its young players through their involvement in sport, the club feels it is only logical to strive for a safer future through a focus on sustainability and climate action.

You can do this when you create the space for thinking about sustainability”, says Flynn. “Every little action adds up to a greater impact.”

Why is this important?

The club’s leadership is testament to the intent and benefit gained through its pursuit of sustainable development.

With the backing of the wider Railway Union Sports Club, the football club is now targeting a comprehensive sustainability strategy. This will encompass all aspects contributing to positive social and environmental impact.

And Michael Flynn’s advice for other clubs and organisations yet to make a start to sustainability?

Just get sustainability on the agenda” he stresses. “The transition towards net-zero should be a permanent and on-going management item.”

Urging other clubs to follow this path, Flynn feels change can be driven quickly. “As soon as you start setting little targets, you can move forward together.”

Want to know more?

You can find out more here about Railway Union Football Club’s pioneering grassroots journey to sustainability.

If you’re keen to make your own start on the journey, get in touch with us at