Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sports Now Becoming Green

Sports are one of the most popular activities in the United States. In recent years, sports teams and venues around the country are doing more to help the environment and the health of the public.

Several examples have made the news lately, such as the Seattle Mariners, who use energy efficiency techniques that reduce their electricity consumption by over 90% and reduce energy costs by $50,000 per year. LEED Silver certification was recently awarded by the U.S Green Building Council for the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, home of the Brooklyn Nets. Marlins Park received 40 points toward LEED Certification, thus becoming the most sustainable stadium in Major League Baseball. Nationals Park was the nation's first major professional stadium to become LEED Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Pennsylvania State University's Beaver Stadium has diverted nearly 30 tons of recyclables per year from local landfills. One of our very own GreenEDU team members took a tour recently of the impressive LEED certified Twins Stadium.

green sports teams and LEED buildings giving change to environment

By providing education on sustainability, organizations, entrepreneurs and employees are devoting their time and efforts to achieve LEED-certified buildings and practices. Commercial buildings and sports venues, amazingly, make up 20% of our country's energy use and carbon pollution at a cost of more than 100 billion per year. Focusing on green development strategies such as increasing energy efficiency, reducing water use, and implementing recycling programs help reduce harmful carbon pollution and costs. Bob Perciasepe, editor of the EPA Connect-The Official Blog of EPA's Leadership, states, "We’re counting on a strong partnership with our sports organizations to help us face this challenge: to curb carbon pollution, adapt to the changing climate and help educate fans about the benefits of protecting our environment."

To facilitate this, the EPA recently released a "Green Sports Resource Directory"to provide teams with resources and solutions to cutting energy use and implementing sustainable strategies.

Support is also available from a non-profit organization called the Green Sports Alliance. Formed in 2010, the organization has "brought together venue operators, sports team executives and environmental scientists to exchange information about better practices and develop solutions to their environmental challenges that are cost-competitive and innovative. " The Green Sports Alliance currently boasts 72 member teams and over 100 venues across 7 sports leagues.

One of the many reasons why sports teams are becoming green is to achieve sustainability. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions in which humans can exist in a productive environment that fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. The many benefits that arise from greening your business or organization are:
  • Social and environmental responsibility
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Decrease waste and disposal costs
  • Create and expand markets for green products and services
  • Improve employee safety using green products
The green movement provides and sustains a multitude of health benefits that protect the environment, increase health safety for people and reserve regional resources. For many years to come, more organizations, companies and individuals will go green.

Image Source: http://blog.epa.gov/epaconnect/2013/08/greensportsalliance/