Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ashkin Recognized as One of the EPA’s 2015 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners

Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group, Green Sports Alliance Board Member,  and often referred to as “the father of Green Cleaning,” is one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) 21 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award winners for 2015.


The EPA Safer Choice Program is designed to help consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products that are manufactured with safer chemical ingredients, but that still meet high quality and performance standards.

“Our scientists employ a stringent set of human health and environmental safety standards when reviewing products for the Safer Choice program,” says Cathy Milbourn of the EPA. “[This ensures that] a product with the [Safer Choice] label is backed by science.”

Ashkin will be presented with the award on June 22, 2015 in Washington, DC.

He is being honored for his leadership in the Safer Choice Program and in several market changing projects in which he was involved including:

  • Working with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED V4 for Building Operations and Maintenance for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Version 4.
  • Helping establish an environmentally preferable product procurement program for the Green Sports Alliance’s Playbook on Greener Cleaning in Sport Facilities.
  • Preparing the Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools for the Healthy School Campaign

“The Safer Choice program has made a significant contribution in ensuring that the places we live, work and play are healthier for us and the environment,” says Ashkin.  “I am honored to receive this award.”


Read the full article here.

Ben Ainslie Racing Finalizes Construction of Green Headquarters

Ben Ainslie Racing, a competitive sailing team formed by four-time Olympic gold medalist sailor Sir Ben Ainslie with the goal of bringing an America’s Cup title back to Great Britain, is also focused on sustainability its new headquarters in Portsmouth. The £15 million facility, built on a reclaimed brownfield coal store site on the Camber, will include a 114-kilowatt, 432-panel rooftop solar installation capable of generating 130 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. The installation will save over 60 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Ben Ainslie Racing

The racing team was already awarded ISO 20121 certification for sustainability across all of its operations in February, and released its first sustainability report earlier this month. The report articulated the goal of sourcing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and the maintenance of BREEAM Excellent standards – British sustainable building standards similar to LEED certification – for water and energy consumption at its new headquarters.

“As societal role models, sports teams are in a privileged position. They have the power to drive positive change through setting an example and drawing attention to the issues that matter, such as sustainability,” Ainslie said. “As a team we are striving to become a truly sustainable business, however our ambitions extend far beyond this. We want to lead the way by educating and inspiring younger generations to drive sustainability forward.”

Read the full article.

Atlanta Falcons to Include Edible Gardens in Design of New Stadium

Following in the footsteps of other Green Sports Alliance members such as the Tampa Bay Lighting and Boston Red Sox, the Atlanta Falcons are incorporating urban agriculture into the landscape of their new stadium as part of the franchise’s strategy to build its new stadium to the standards of the highest level of LEED certification. In collaboration with local planning and design firm HGOR, the Falcons plan on incorporating raised garden beds and edible plants and trees into the landscaping of the stadium grounds.


The team plans to include figs, apples, and other crops into the design, which will utilize storm water collection to irrigate the gardens. The stadium will also grow blueberries, highlighting Georgia’s position as the nation’s top blueberry-growing state. Further crop decisions are still in the planning stages.

The Falcons are also investigating ways to integrate their urban agriculture project into the Westside community where the stadium is being constructed. The team has received support for this initiative from both the Arthur M. Blank Foundation and the Captain Planet Foundation. According to Scott Jenkins, the general manager of the new stadium, finding a way to involve the Westside neighborhood “would be our target, whether it’s working with a local school on gardening and healthy food or providing food to a local food program.”

Read the full article.

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