Monthly Archives: March 2017

The U.P. and Sustainability Takes Center Court at the 2017 NCAA® Final Four® Championships

2017.03.27-NewsFeed-Final 4 Court-IMAGE

Student-athletes competing in the 2017 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four will be shooting for a championship on basketball courts manufactured by Connor Sports, the Official Court Provider of the NCAA from wood sustainably harvested from The Nature Conservancy’s Two Hearted River Forest Reserve in Upper Michigan.

Connor Sports as Official Court Provider of the NCAA single-sourced all the timber from Sugar Maple trees in the TNC’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified forest in the Upper Peninsula.   Check out this super cool time-lapse video! https://vimeo.com/208141790 

“As Champion of Environment, our goal at Connor Sports is to provide our NCAA customer with the best possible court products using responsible forestry practices,” said Jason Gasperich, Director of Sustainability for Connor Sports. “This unique method will mark the first-time Connor Sports has single-sourced all the timber for a customer project from one forest, and Sugar Maple trees are the industry’s most prized species known for their durability, strength and light coloring.”

The Two-Hearted River Forest Reserve spans approximately 24,000 acres. Sustainable forestry practices include ecological thinning, selectively cutting trees to improve the health of the forest that are also economically viable. Thirty-five acres of the Reserve were sustainably harvested to create this year’s championship floors.

The men’s court will be installed today at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, while the women’s court will be installed Tuesday, March 28, at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

The 2017 Men’s Final Four Official Court from Connor Sports is a QuickLock™ portable and is 70’ X 140’ and totals 9,800 square feet using 397 4’ x 7’ panels weighing approximately 188 pounds each or 14 tons in total. The 2017 Women’s Final Court is 60’ X 120’ and totals 7,200 square feet using 262 panels weighing a total of 10.3 tons. The installation process led by Connor Sports technicians is approximately six hours.

Read the full story here.

UVA Fans Score Big with ACC’s First ‘Zero Waste’ Basketball Game

By Matt Kelly

With the aid of student volunteers, UVA basketball fans diverted more than 90 percent of their game-day waste from the landfill. (Photo by Matt Riley, UVA Athletics)

With the aid of student volunteers, UVA basketball fans diverted more than 90 percent of their game-day waste from the landfill. (Photo by Matt Riley, UVA Athletics)

The University of Virginia has become the first Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball team to achieve “zero waste” during this year’s Game Day Challenge. Fans participated in the event during a designated game ­– the Cavaliers’ 53-43 victory over the University of North Carolina on Feb. 27.

Zero Waste International Alliance defines “zero waste” as diverting at least 90 percent of waste from the landfill. With the help of 75 student volunteers, UVA Athletics, ARAMARK and the Office for Sustainability, fans at the sold-out game at the John Paul Jones Arena recycled and composted 94 percent of all waste generated at the arena that night.

The nationwide Game Day Challenge contest promotes waste diversion at college basketball games. UVA fans have long been placing paper, bottles and cans into recycling bins at John Paul Jones Arena, and a new bin was added for food waste and compostable items on Feb. 27. Fans kept 4,454 pounds of waste material from the landfill during the game, recycling and composting 0.48 pounds per person, putting leftover food and service utensils in one bin and plastic cups, bottles and cans in another.

Student volunteers staffed each waste station to sort materials and educate fans on composting and recycling. After the game, volunteers helped clean the stands, segregating compostables and recyclables to ensure the maximum diversion. The materials were then further culled by UVA Recycling.

Approximately 45 percent of the waste was composted and 49 percent recycled.

“This is our sixth year of working collaboratively to reduce landfill waste at athletic events and we’re thrilled to have developed a strategy that gets such high diversion rates that help UVA meet its waste reduction goals as outlined in the UVA Sustainability Plan,” said Nina Morris, sustainability outreach and engagement manager at the Office for Sustainability.

Read the full story here.

Ahead of World Water Day, Dow, Richard Childress Racing and University Research Partners Spotlight Importance of Innovation and Collaboration in Arizona

2017.03.20-NewsFeed-Dow WWD-IMAGEIn the race to secure a sustainable water future, leaders from The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: Dow), NASCAR, Richard Childress Racing (RCR), the University of Arizona and Pima County Wastewater Reclamation met in Tucson to discuss local water challenges and solutions to effectively address water scarcity.

Coinciding with World Water Day, which takes place March 22, the event brought together industry, business, government and academic representatives to explore how alliances and collaborations can further advance technology, processes and strategies that conserve, reclaim and renew resources. Attendees toured the University of Arizona’s Water and Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center after hearing speeches by prominent national and local figures. They then met with researchers, professors and graduate students in a range of interactive research, analytic, character, sensory and wet labs.

“Innovation and collaboration are key to finding sustainable paths forward for society,” remarked Neil Hawkins, corporate vice president and chief sustainability officer at Dow. “Water in the Southwest is a great example of a significant challenge, but one where win-win-win solutions are possible if all the right stakeholders come together with a commitment to collaboration. Dow is pleased to work with University of Arizona, local leaders, and the NASCAR team to help deliver a more sustainable society.”

Austin Dillon, 2-time NASCAR champion, welcomed the crowd with an invigorating speech on water conservation. As an avid sportsman and outdoorsman, Dillon stressed the importance of water resources to individuals and communities alike –whether it be used to light up our cities, manufacture automobiles, and power our own bodies. He then unveiled the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet’s new World Water Day paint scheme. The car will compete in the Camping World 500 in Phoenix on March 19.

“I have always loved fishing, boating and being outdoors near the water,” said Dillon. “World Water Day reminds us that we need to do our part to conserve and recycle resources so that everyone can enjoy it.”

Providing the foundation for the event, the WEST Center brings together diverse groups to address the nation’s growing water and energy needs through research and technology. Dr. Kimberly Espy, senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona noted, “Since its inception, the WEST Center has been a hub for expert researchers across academia, government, and industry to collaboratively address a diverse set of grand challenges in sustainability. Through synergies with world-class companies, such as Dow, we’re able to tackle the water challenges in arid environments like our own Sonoran Desert and beyond.”

Read the full release here.

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