Monthly Archives: September 2015

NASCAR and Green Sports Alliance Join Forces



Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D.
President, Green Sports Alliance



It is often influences from outside a field of work that make the greatest contributions to its progress. Seat belts were invented by a neurosurgeon, not an automotive engineer. Darwin was trained as a minister, not a geneticist. Sir Isaac Newtown was trained as a mathematician, not a physicist. Steve Jobs was not trained as a computer scientist.

So it seems right now with the movement to build environmental literacy throughout American culture. Climate scientists are under attack from politicians and are not trusted by a surprisingly large percentage of US citizens: According to a poll performed by Pew Public Opinion Research earlier this year, while 87 percent of scientists believe that climate change is caused by human activity, only 50 percent of US citizens think so, a 37 percent gap.

Science is not just another opinion. Consequently, the lack of faith in climate science among US citizens is worrisome given the urgent need for us all to come together to address it.

So how do we more effectively disseminate environmental literacy to the masses? Everything contains its opposite, and this is where NASCAR comes in when it comes to environmental education.

I have worked on environmental issues for 35 years and had anyone told me decades ago that NASCAR was going to play an important role in cultivating allies in support of responsible environmental stewardship, I would have thought they were not serious. Throughout my career in environmental research and advocacy I have worked with the world’s most influential environmental advocacy groups trying to cultivate allies, both traditional allies and non-traditional allies, in support of our mission. And now, confirming that everything contains it opposite, I a proud to report that NASCAR has partnered with the Green Sports Alliance to spread the word about responsible environmental stewardship.

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 04: A NASCAR Green decal is seen in the garage during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, TX – APRIL 04: A NASCAR Green decal is seen in the garage during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

At a ceremony in Chicago on September 16th, I joined NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France and other senior NASCAR officials announcing a formal partnership between NASCAR and the Green Sports Alliance. NASCAR drivers Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr were also in attendance, and Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute delivered a keynote address. The recently announced NASCAR-Green Sports Alliance collaboration is focused on promoting energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy, recycling and composting of wastes, the marketing of healthier food, and fan education.

To tens of millions of Americans, NASCAR is a trusted and widely embraced form of community engagement. Trusted community networks provide the safe space needed to help people change their minds and behavior. NASCAR provides this kind of influential and non-political “trusted network.” The NASCAR-Green Sports Alliance collaboration will build on where people are at: the trusted network that NASCAR provides to tens of millions of Americans, regardless of political or economic affiliation.

While climate deniers can ignore science and attack the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with impunity, they cannot attack NASCAR with impunity. NASCAR’s culturally influential embrace of the need to address climate change and promote environmental stewardship will help end climate change denial.

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 16: Photo taken during the NASCAR Green Summit at Venue SIX10 on September 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/NASCAR via Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 16: Photo taken during the NASCAR Green Summit at Venue SIX10 on September 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/NASCAR via Getty Images)

To advance sustainability, NASCAR, like many businesses, is working to become greener. Perhaps one day, like Formula E, (which has just recently joined the Green Sports Alliance), NASCAR races will shift to all electric vehicles charged by the wind and the sun. Perhaps, but not yet.

What is clear is that while improvements need to be made, there is no single business undertaking or governmental law that can solve our many ecological problems. However small our day-to-day actions may seem, our collective purchases add up to meaningful regional and global impacts. Most individuals and businesses, including NASCAR, can only do relatively small things, whether it’s buying products made with recycled content, buying renewable energy, driving a fuel-efficient car, composting, or conserving water.

Small things can lead to big changes. And that is especially true for a enormously visible organization like NASCAR. All industries are connected to NASCAR and every one of them has to do something to address the ecological pressures we collectively face, regardless of how small it might seem. NASCAR, like the other sports leagues, teams and businesses that the Green Sports Alliance is collaborating with, is exploring how to shift its operations to ecologically preferable approaches. I am delighted that the Green Sports Alliance will be helping to guide NASCAR as it works to green its operations nationwide and educate millions of people about the benefits of doing so.


Adidas Moves to Address Environmental Worries

Wall Street Journal

Environmentalists largely applaud green initiatives from companies but have reservations about their actual impact

FRANKFURT— Adidas AG is launching a three-year research program to develop soccer cleats that can be repeatedly recycled, use no chemical adhesives and create no waste, amid growing concerns that the world’s rise in garment consumption is hurting the environment.

Adidas is joining a growing list of companies taking green initiatives. Environmentalists largely applaud the efforts but have reservations about the actual impact.
Adidas, the world’s No. 2 sporting goods company behind Nike Inc., said the project, to be announced Thursday and funded by the European Union, would assemble experts from a variety of industries to develop a “super-material” that can be used for performance sports gear, and later be broken down and remolded repeatedly.
Adidas said it hopes to use the new material in anything from soccer cleats to performance sportswear and soccer balls. Photo: ADIDAS

Adidas said it hopes to use the new material in anything from soccer cleats to performance sportswear and soccer balls. Photo: Adidas

“In a world of limited resources, recyclable materials is something we as an industry need to be leading in,” said Gerd Manz, technology and innovation vice president at Adidas and head of the new project.
Critics have long pointed out the environmental damage caused by a sharp rise in garment consumption world-wide. Alongside fast fashion retailers, the sportswear industry is responding to consumer patterns by manufacturing and selling an increasing amount of sportswear and shoes. In this way the industry is contributing to pollution, said Yixiuo Wu, a project leader at Greenpeace.
Sport Infinity, as Adidas’s new project is called, is one of several steps Adidas has taken recently to boost its ethical credentials.
The German sportswear giant on Tuesday said it would join Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp.and several other companies in a United Nations initiative to become a “leading example” in tackling climate change, by agreeing to measure its climate footprint and reduce emissions where possible. In April, Adidas announced a partnership with awareness-raising network Parley for the Oceans, through which it aims to make sportswear out of recycled ocean waste.
The first concept shoe created through this cooperation was however not significantly different from Adidas’s current non-green shoe collection. The yarn used for the shoe upper was indeed made of fibers from waste plastic and fishing nets, but the sole was still made out of newly manufactured plastic. Adidas said at the time that the shoe was a concept shoe only, and that it would be worked on and turned into a consumer product in coming months…

Read the full article. 

2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open Zero Waste Event Advances Sustainability Success

Press Release from Waste Management

World’s largest golf tournament achieves zero waste validation for third consecutive year; continues to elevate sustainability efforts and results

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 21, 2015– Waste Management (NYSE: WM) announced that the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO) diverted 100 percent of tournament waste away from landfills for the third consecutive year.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150921005225/en/

According to the Company’s WMPO 2015 Sustainability Report, in addition to achieving a zero waste validation, Waste Management improved the tournament’s overall sustainability results at the “Greenest Show on Grass” amid a record 564,368 attendees.

“We took our sustainability efforts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to a whole new level this year, and it showed in the results,” said Michele Grossman, managing principal for Waste Management Sustainability Services. “We continue to advance our efforts year after year to show the sporting world – and the rest of the world – that ‘green’ is possible.”

Waste Management’s sustainability results are validated by two outside parties – the Council for Responsible Sport and UL Environment. For three years in a row, WMPO earned UL Environment’s highest landfill diversion rate designation, Zero Waste to Landfill Operations, with 10% incineration with energy recovery in 2014 and 2015, and 12% in 2013.

“Waste Management continues to take a leadership role in modeling sustainable event management practices, which we hope will become the industry standard going forward,” said Lisa Meier, vice president and general manager for UL Environment. “The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open’s achievement in obtaining UL’s landfill diversion claim validation for the best-attended golf event in the world demonstrates a level of commitment which will inspire ongoing positive change in this market space and beyond.”

Additionally, the Council for Responsible Sport elevated the tournament’s two-year certification from Gold to Evergreen status, making the Waste Management Phoenix Open the largest event and the first PGA TOUR tournament to achieve Evergreen certification. “The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open is indicative of the highest level of accomplishment in sports event production, and demonstrates true leadership on both corporate and civic levels,” said Keith Peters, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport.

Waste Management operated under a standard for sustainable events management, which defines the requirements to ensure an enduring and balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress relating to events.

Other initiatives that contributed to the tournament’s improved sustainability:

  • The WMPO Water Campaign, a water conservation initiative in collaboration with Change the Course, raised funds to restore 35 million gallons of water to the Colorado River Basin and Verde River.
  • More than 30,000 pounds of unused, perishable food from the tournament was donated to charities including Waste Not Perishable Food Rescue & Delivery and Church on the Street.
  • Along with Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations, Waste Management collected and donated 25,239 pounds of tournament materials and 682 pounds of vinyl fence signage, most of which Waste Management had reused outdoors since the 2010 event.

To view the 2015 WMPO case study video, please visit https://youtu.be/Mx1ruCpYu7c.

The Zero Waste Challenge

In the fourth year of the tournament’s Zero Waste Challenge, Waste Management expanded vendor and fan education of proper waste sorting. Once again, there were no trash receptacles on the golf course, only recycling and compost bins for all public and back-of-house operations.

Waste Management repurposed and transformed large roll-off containers into eye-catching Zero Waste Stations where fans could engage with volunteers to help collect food and beverage materials.

Waste Management’s Partnership with the Phoenix Open

Waste Management has been a partner of the Phoenix Open for 15 years, providing waste, recycling, and portable restroom services. As the title sponsor, Waste Management, in partnership with the PGA TOUR and The Thunderbirds, is dedicated to making the Waste Management Phoenix Open the greenest tournament on the PGA TOUR. The tournament has also become a major platform for Waste Management Think Green solutions, including the Four Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.


Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150921005225/en/

Source: Waste Management

Waste Management
Janette Micelli, 602-579-6152
The Artigue Agency
Shannon Keller, 310-210-1866

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