Monthly Archives: August 2017

Stanford University Becomes Second Institution to Earn AASHE STARS Platinum Rating


2017.08.29-NewsFeed-Stanford AASHE STARS-IMAGE

Stanford University earned a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) Platinum rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements, making it one of only two higher education institutions in the world to reach this milestone. Stanford’s report is publicly available on the STARS website.

STARS measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education and is a signature program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

“This accomplishment highlights all the great sustainability work happening at Stanford University,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “We are proud to recognize this substantial commitment to advance sustainability at Stanford and in the surrounding community.”

This STARS Platinum-rated report is the institution’s fourth submission and represents Stanford’s strong foundation as an institution with a comprehensive and collaborative approach to sustainability. Recent advancements that helped propel Stanford to STARS Platinum include the installation of solar panels at 15 sites on campus in March 2017 and the launch of the 67 MW off-campus Stanford Solar Generating Station (SSGS) in December 2016. In the last year, Stanford has also expanded student, staff, and faculty engagement opportunities in sustainability through the My Cardinal Green Platform, which launched in May 2017 to encourage individual action in environmental conservation. The university has seen continual increases in the number of sustainability courses and sustainable living opportunities offered on campus.

Launched in 2009, STARS was developed by the higher education community through a transparent and inclusive process. With over 800 participants spanning six continents, STARS is the most widely recognized framework for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to higher education sustainability performance. Participating institutions report achievements in academics, campus & community engagement, operations and planning & administration.

In line with AASHE’s rigorous review protocol for STARS Platinum-rated reports, AASHE staff reviewed the entire contents of Stanford University’s submission prior to publication to ensure that credit criteria and intent were met. Stanford’s STARS report is coordinated and submitted by the Office of Sustainability, with support from over 70 campus partners.

Read more here.

Planning for Environmental and Social Responsibility

by Keith Peters
Athletic Business

2017.08.29-NewsFeed-Keith Peters-IMAGE

When Athletic Business published its first issue in February 1977, I was a grad student in recreation administration at California State University, Long Beach. After an unremarkable stint as an undergrad at UCLA (notwithstanding the success of the men’s basketball team), and a few years just kicking around, I had decided to pursue my passion — sports — to see where it would take me. Forty years later, as I reflect upon a lifetime working in sports, one thing is clear: I made the right choice, and not just because of all the fun I’ve had.

Little did I suspect as I prepared for a career in recreational sports how much that field would change over the years. Who could have predicted how ubiquitous sports participation and the business of sports would become? Indeed, by any measure, sport has become a barometer of our cultural values and norms — both good and bad.

According to a recent report from Running USA, there were nearly 17 million finishers in U.S. road races in 2016, compared to five million finishers in 1990. And 57 percent of 2016 finishers were women! That’s quite a story of growth and inclusivity — but what about all those finishers’ medals and T-shirts? Are they truly a metaphor of accomplishment, or are they merely symbolic of our society’s preoccupation with the acquisition of consumer goods?

I’ve spent the past 10 years trying to connect the dots between sports and environmental and social responsibility. While I fondly recall pitching empty wine bottles into the recycling dumpster at Cal State, it took Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to awaken me to the challenge of turning individual action(s) into productive cultural norms. After all, recycling and reducing one’s carbon footprint are laudable lifestyle choices, but the net impact only becomes significant when those activities become mass-participation events.

In 2007, I was asked to lead a “Greening Your Running Event” workshop. One thing led to another — initially I established a consultancy to help road races become more ecofriendly; ultimately I became executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport, a nonprofit certification body that promotes the vision of a world in which responsibly produced sporting events are the norm.

How can we — those of us in the business of building, programming and operating athletic, fitness and recreation facilities and events — engage our stakeholders more fully in the pursuit of environmental friendliness and social responsibility?

Read the full story here.

HOK a Finalist for ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards

LEED Silver Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

LEED Silver Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

HOK was named a finalist for ESPN’s third annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards in the Corporate Community Impact category for their work designing sustainable sports facilities and continued partnership with the Green Sports Alliance. The Corporate Community Impact Award recognizes a corporation that uses the power of sports to help advance a social issue, cause or community organization. Additional nominees for the Corporate Community Impact Award included Chevron, DICK’s Sporting Goods and Under Armour.

As recognition for being a finalist, HOK receives a $25,000 award from ESPN to donate to a non-profit of their choosing. HOK has generously selected the Green Sports Alliance Foundation as the recipient of their award money and funds will support strategic, organizational and programmatic development around core focus areas of international expansion, athlete engagement, youth programming, and Green Sports Day.

The awards celebrate and honor leagues, teams, individuals and members of the sporting community that are using the power of sports to make a positive impact on society. Winners were announced at a ceremony at L.A. LIVE’s The Novo on Tuesday, July 11.

HOK has designed sustainable sports facilities amounting to approximately $4 billion in built work, including the first professional stadium to pursue LEED Platinum (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), the first LEED Silver ballpark (Nationals Park) and the only salmon-safe certified stadium and the single largest LEED certified facility by seat count (Husky Stadium). Across their stadiums, HOK has saved energy use by an average of 18.75%; reduced water consumption by 38.4%; diverted an average of 80% of waste from landfills; and designed spaces that have produced more than 24 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables for their communities.

Read more here and here.

Welcome to the Green Sports Alliance News Feed & Blog. We do our best to keep up with new and noteworthy stories in the world of green sports, but if we've missed something, please drop us a line and let us know! Use the search function below or click through our archive to find past postings.