While Bailey Banfield is having a career-best season kicking goals on-field, he is kicking just as many off it with his off-field role at the Club.
A talented forward in the AFL, Banfield has also added to his CV the role of Sustainability Officer at Fremantle – holding a strong passion in the environmental and sustainability space.
With significant contribution from Banfield, the Fremantle Football Club has released a sustainability framework titled ‘Anchoring a Sustainable Future’ to highlight the work done to date, and the ongoing commitment by the Club to improving its sustainability practices.
Banfield was a key driver in the framework’s development, which stemmed from individual research throughout various Covid lockdown periods in recent years.
“I think it started during Covid times, we had one of our mini lockdowns of two weeks or so and I did a bit of research on carbon neutrality,” Banfield said.
“I started thinking to myself if that was something the Club could look at and is that something we could do here because that’s always been a passion of mine - the environment and sustainability.
“I put a presentation together from that research and sent it to some of the staff upstairs and they were pretty interested in it, which led to some chats and then to a part-time role (as Sustainability Officer).”
Banfield went to work to help set out the framework, which was established following the development of the Club’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.
One of the key initiatives in the Plan being to better understand the Club’s contribution to sustainability across its history and consider what the contribution could look like into the future.
“As a strategy, it looks at what we have done in the past, and we have done a lot of great work in lot of areas like good health and wellbeing, quality education, reducing inequalities, increasing gender equalities and the Club is really active in the community space and in trying to give back to our Freo family,” Banfield said.
“It’s about looking to the past and celebrating that, but then also looking forward into what we can do better in those spaces in the future.
“It also looks at what we can do in the climate action and responsible consumption and production space and how can we minimise our imprint on the environment.”
Dipping toes into the administration side of football is a rare undertaking by most still currently playing the game, but Banfield believed the opportunity to work ‘upstairs’ has introduced to him a better understanding of the Club holistically.
“It’s been great to meet everybody upstairs and get a better understanding of what everyone’s roles are and how they are part of the Freo family,” Banfield said.
“Getting a better understanding of how a footy club works is something you don’t always see.
“As a player we get the pretty easy role of rocking up to training when we’re told, games when we’re told and playing footy, and I have sort of got to see a lot of the work behind the scenes that have gone into delivering that.”