Unique Relationship Will Help Advance The Sports Industry’s Zero Waste Initiatives
PORTLAND, Ore. & MINNETONKA, Minn., May 6, 2015 — NatureWorks today announced that it is strengthening its partnership with the Green Sports Alliance to help support the Alliance’s mission of advancing environmental stewardship with professional and collegiate sports teams, venues, leagues, and events. NatureWorks is a global leader in supplying renewably sourced materials including its innovative Ingeo™ portfolio of bio-based plastics. A comprehensive portfolio of compostable food service ware products made with Ingeo has seen steadily increasing use by many of the Alliance’s members.
The Green Sports Alliance is a nonprofit organization that leverages the market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities where people live and play. The Alliance represents nearly 300 sports teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues and 14 countries, including affiliates in Australia, the UK and in the European Union.
The partnership announced today will offer Alliance members enhanced access to NatureWorks expertise in developing cost-competitive waste diversion programs through the use of renewably sourced, low carbon footprint products that offer new options for recovery. The partnership will also include educational webinars, discussion panels, supporting case studies, and workshops on topics such as bioplastics, composting, and diversion success strategies at sports venues and events.
NatureWorks has been associated with the Alliance almost from its initial launch in 2011, supporting the Alliance’s annual Summit and helping to institute successful organic waste diversion programs with various Alliance members including the Portland Trail Blazers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Xcel Energy Center, the home of the Minnesota Wild. The new partnership announced today is designed to build on that history and to accelerate broader implementation of organics diversion in the sports industry.
“NatureWorks’ focus on promoting composting is of enormous ecological value, helping to divert food waste from landfills,” said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Green Sports Alliance President who previously served for 26 years as Senior Scientist and Sports Program Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “With this new partnership, the Alliance will build on our ability to provide our members with access to the latest ecologically preferable technologies and renewably sourced products.”
According to EPA data, in 2012 nearly 35 million tons of food waste was generated in the United States with 95 percent of that going into landfills or incinerators. Compostable food service ware such as cups, plates, utensils, and to-go containers, can facilitate composting of food residuals, significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions which may otherwise result.
“The Green Sports Alliance is premised on the compelling fact that while only 13 percent of our society follows science, 71 percent follow sports,” said Marc Verbruggen, NatureWorks CEO. “Since its formation, the Alliance has emerged as the most influential voice in the marketplace and among NGOs leveraging the enormous cultural influence of sports to promote healthy and sustainable communities. It is hard to think of a more natural partner in moving renewably sourced performance materials like ours to the mainstream of society. This is a unique partnership for NatureWorks.”
To learn more about the Green Sports Alliance and NatureWorks visit: www.greensportsalliance.org and www.natureworksllc.com. The 2015 Green Sports Alliance Summit will be held June 29 – July 1 at McCormick Place, Chicago, and the NatureWorks International Global Users Forum Innovation Takes Root will be held March 30 – April 1, 2016 at the Orlando World Center Marriott, in Orlando.