Wembley adds to its Pride with Recycled Lions

Wembley Stadium commissioned lions made from reclaimed Wembley waste, created by artist Faith Bebbington

Veolia and the FA Group Green Team at Wembley Stadium connected by EE are delighted to announce the installation of lions hand-made by Artist Faith Bebbington from reclaimed Stadium waste.
Resources including cardboard, plastic cups and even broken plastic seats have been given a second life as two beautiful lions at the home of The FA. In addition to the recycled stainless steel lion created by Artist Michael Turner that is currently guarding the Stadium, this fittingly brings Wembley’s in-house lion count up to three lions: a symbol of The FA.

Artist Faith Bebbington has created two lions for The FA Group and Veolia, made of waste reclaimed from Wembley Stadium that was destined to be recycled. The lions have been created to celebrate Wembley’s achievements in resource management and to remind staff, partners and visitors of the importance of re-using our valuable resources.

As a national stadium and world-class event venue, Wembley has significant environmental impacts, but our ISO 14001 award-winning Environmental Management System has enabled us to significantly reduce our impacts. The FA Group Green Team is proud that Wembley, the home of The FA, has been a ‘zero waste to landfill’ venue since 2010 and has reached event-day recycling rates of 86%, with all remaining waste sent to a ‘waste to energy’ plant where energy is returned to the National Grid.
The FA Group Green Team’s focus is now on re-using resources wherever possible. The waste used for the lions was reclaimed by Wembley waste management partners Veolia to showcase that what is considered to be ‘waste’ – damaged items and obsolete stock – is actually a valuable resource that can be re-purposed into a piece of art. This can be seen as part of a wider movement in which creativity is used to raise awareness of waste and resource depletion, with artists such as Faith and Dan Tobin Smith creating installations from the by-products of everyday life.

What are the lions made of?
Part of the internal structure for both lions is made from willow, used to create the curved shapes. This living willow has been provided from a grower in the Wirral, one of the only willow farmers in the north of England and a small business which the Artist, Faith Bebbington, likes to support. The rest of the internal structure is made from reclaimed wood, collected by Faith.
The standing lion has cardboard ‘fur’ reclaimed from Wembley Stadium; the sitting lion is made of waste reclaimed from Stadium stands including “fur” made of broken red plastic stadium seats, used plastic beer bottles, wooden knives, straws, cardboard food wrappers and used paper cups. All the waste was carefully handwashed by the Veolia Contract Manager for Wembley Stadium before being delivered to the artist. Fishing line, parcel tape, and hot glue were used to stitch and stick the fur together, and the lions’ eyes were made from eco laundry balls.

How can we see the lions?
Visitors to Wembley can see the three lions on the Wembley tour. For more information visit the website (link below).
Simon Smith, Wembley Stadium Services Associate Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome the lions to their new home at Wembley Stadium. Environmental improvement continues to be a priority for The FA Group. The fantastic lions by Faith Bebbington have given a second life to valuable resources and will take pride of place in our world-class Stadium.”
Paul Greasley, Chair of the FA Group Green Team, said: “These lions are a symbol of how far Wembley has come and are an inspiration to keep improving our environmental performance.”

James Huartson, Wembley Sustainability Manager, said: “The FA Group Green Team has worked hard to improve our recycling rates and reduce how much waste the Stadium generates. We’re now rightly looking at how we can re-use our resources. This makes both environmental and commercial sense and helps us move towards a circular economy. Faith Bebbington’s lions are a marvelous reminder to staff and visitors about Wembley’s vision for a sustainable future”.

Artist Faith Bebbington said: “I was delighted to be commissioned by the FA Group to create two lions for Wembley; partly as the stadium is such an iconic site and because I prefer my artwork to be accessible to the majority of people - rather than just art gallery goers. In February I was diagnosed with lung cancer (stage 4) so working on this commission has been a challenge at times, but also an excellent distraction from grueling rounds of treatment! Thankfully the F.A. were understanding and flexible about delaying the planned delivery date from spring to late summer. I like the challenge of being given a pile of rubbish and transforming into something special. The range of waste materials provided by the FA Group from Wembley Stadium were particularly interesting to combine – from old broken red plastic stadium seats, to used plastic Carlsberg beer bottles! The FA trusted me to get on with the job and refreshingly, gave me complete creative control!”

Pascal Hauret, Veolia’s Regional Director for London, said: “This is a great example of the circular economy in action, using waste generated at the Stadium to create something special for the Stadium to be enjoyed by all. It is very fitting that these Lions are being displayed in a Stadium where we have worked so well in partnership to achieve fantastic recycling rates and contributed to its success in becoming one of the most sustainable sporting venues in the world.”

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For more information, please contact:
Thomas Rowland, The Football Association – [email protected]
 Dan Lester, Veolia [email protected] or visit www.veolia.co.uk  
About the Artist: Artist Faith Bebbington was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in February following a short bout of ill health. She is undergoing various treatments and is determined to keep being creative throughout this challenging time. To see examples of her work please visit: http://www.faithbebbington.co.uk/  
For further information on Wembley’s environmental commitment, please visit http://www.wembleystadium.com/TheStadium/StadiumGuide/Sustainability  
To arrange a tour of the Stadium to see the three lions, please visit http://www.wembleystadium.com/Wembley-Tours.aspx  
About Wembley Stadium Wembley Stadium is the home of the England national football team. Since its creation in 1923 Wembley has hosted some of the most famous sporting and music entertainment events, including England’s World Cup success in 1966 and some of the most iconic music moments including Live Aid in 1985 and Take That’s record-breaking Progress Tour in 2011.The original stadium was demolished in 2000 and the new, 90,000-seat stadium was opened in 2007.
Wembley Stadium has evolved and now hosts no fewer than 15 different event owners with an incredible 38 events hosted in 2013. The NFL will host three International Series matches in 2014 which complement the other existing partnerships with the Football League, RFL, Saracens Rugby Club and a number of music promoters, including SJM, Metropolis and Live Nation.
In 2012 the stadium hosted nine matches during the Olympic Games and was the proud host of the 2011 and 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, making it a total of seven European Cup Finals, more than any other venue in Europe.
Wembley Stadium has a rich and proud sporting and music heritage spanning 90-years and was also the focal point for The FA’s 150th anniversary, hosting high-profile matches against Brazil, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Chile and Germany in 2013 and will provide the kick-off for England’s World Cup preparations in Spring 2014.
About The FA Group Green Team
The FA Group is comprised of internationally-recognised businesses including Wembley Stadium, The Football Association (“The FA”) and St. George’s Park. Based at Wembley Stadium, a world-class venue with over 2m visitors per annum, The FA Group has significant operational and sustainability impacts. Our award-winning environmental strategy ensures these impacts are managed on a systematic basis.
Environmental sustainability continues to be a priority for our businesses. As part of our 2011-12 Business Plan we committed to capturing our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity across the whole FA Group. Central to achieving this objective is being able to accurately measure and manage our environmental impacts on an ongoing basis. Over 2007-8, the Green Team developed a robust environmental management system (EMS) at Wembley Stadium, revised in 2012 and certified in 2013 to international standard ISO 14001. A sister EMS was developed for The FA in 2011-12 with implementation started in 2013.
The EMS provides a framework for our businesses to manage impacts and drive efficiencies in the priority areas of energy, waste, water, transport, marketing & communications and sustainable procurement. We strive to be a leader in environmental sustainability by:
 Continuing to monitor and improve our environmental performance
 Taking steps to continually reduce our carbon footprint
 In addition to legal compliance, working with our partners and suppliers to achieve best environmental practice
 Communicating our environmental goals and achievements to our staff, visitors and other stakeholders
 Integrating sustainability across all business activities, including budgets and annual reporting
 Adhering to the sustainability principles of integrity, inclusivity, transparency and stewardship. The FA Group Green Team reports to The FA and WNSL Boards and consists of senior representatives from across Wembley, The FA and St. George’s Park as well as, on an as-required basis, key environmental stakeholders such as contracted partners and suppliers. The Green Team was set up to develop and implement environmental policy and strategy for the Stadium in a coordinated manner, and to demonstrate environmental leadership. The Green Team and Green Team Action Group ensure that environmental sustainability is embedded throughout Wembley and The FA.
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