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Monthly Archives: February 2018

World Rowing Federation pledges to protect UNESCO Heritage Sites

Climate Action

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Photo Source: Climate Action

The World Rowing Federation has become the first global sports body to make a commitment to protect UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The pledge comes on the back of concerns raised by the UN body about the negative impacts of sporting events to natural and historic sites.

The decision is also a result of World Rowing’s ongoing work with the conservation charity WWF to ensure sustainable water practices are used across its global events.

The federation represents 153 different organisations, including the International Olympic Committee, to govern the sport of rowing.

World Rowing’s President Jean-Christophe Rolland, said: “As rowing is a sport that is intimately connected to nature, we recognise the importance of protecting natural sites. World Rowing hopes that other international sporting organisations will follow in committing to preserve these areas of the world”.

There are a total of 1073 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rated for their significant importance to people and planet. World Rowing’s new policy will apply to the 241 sites listed under both natural and mixed. It says that the venues it currently uses “do not impact directly on World Heritage sites”, but new guidelines will enforce a commitment to prevent any indirect impacts on buffer zones.

“UNESCO welcomes this landmark decision,” said Mechtild Rössler, Director of the body’s World Heritage Centre. “We look forward to other sport federations and organizations in charge of large sports events, such as the International Olympic Committee, also taking on a similar commitment and putting such policies into practice.”

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Eagles & Pats: Head-to-Head for Eco-Cred

Environmental Leader
by Alyssa Danigelis

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Gillette Stadium (left) and Lincoln Financial Field (right). Credit: Gillette Stadium on Facebook and Lincoln Financial Field on Facebook

The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles face off Sunday at the LEED Gold-certified US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. But how do the teams’ home stadiums stack up environmentally? Let’s find out.

Gillette Stadium

Home of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium began welcoming fans in 2002, replacing the old Foxborough Stadium in Massachusetts. The Kraft Group privately financed construction for $325 million and ISO 14001-certified Skanska USA Building Inc. won the contract.

The stadium project had multi-stakeholder involvement in order to achieve a sustainable building, both in its construction and operation, according to a Skanska case study sustainability from May 2008.

Features:

  • Restoration of a diverted river to a free-flowing natural river bed seeded with flora to attract wildlife
  • During construction, over 130,000 cubic yards of blasted open rock was processed and reused on the site
  • A wastewater system with an onsite wastewater treatment facility that reuses graywater for thousands of toilets in the building, saving millions of gallons of water each year
  • Energy-efficient hand dryers replaced paper towels for the stadium’s bathrooms in 2009, saving nearly 6.3 million paper towels and more than $50,000 annually, according to Excel Dryer
  • Timing devices in the electrical distribution system that automatically shut down non-essential lighting after hours

The 1.3 million-square-foot area Patriot Place, which includes a hotel, restaurants, and shopping, opened adjacent to the stadium in the fall of 2008. A megawatt solar installation currently provides 60% of Patriot Place’s electricity with an annual output of 1.1 million kilowatt hours, according to the Kraft Group.

In the second quarter of 2017, Patriot Place conserved: 206,694 kWh of electricity, 571 mature trees, 332,920 gallons of water, 477 cubic yards of landfill airspace, and 232 metric tons of GHG emissions.

Lincoln Financial Field

Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, opened in Philadelphia in 2003, replacing Veterans Stadium. Construction cost $520 million at the time and environmental considerations were there from the start. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and his wife Christina Weiss Lurie established the Go Green sustainability program in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2003. What began as a push to increase desk-side recycling has evolved into an all-encompassing environmental strategy across the team’s operations.

Features:

  • 100% of the team’s operations are powered by renewables, including 11,108 solar panels and 14 wind turbines installed around the field that produce 4 MW annually
  • The team installed a biodigester to decompose pre-consumer food waste that can process 330 pounds daily
  • Every year the Eagles recycle more than 850 tons of material from the stadium
  • Converted to 100% post-consumer recycled paper, savings of 10 tons of paper annually
  • More than 99% of the waste generated at the stadium is diverted from landfills
  • Invested in Orbio technology to produce a nontoxic cleaning and de-greasing agent from salt, reclaimed water, and electricity rather than using chemicals
  • Installed aerators that cut urinal water use in half
  • All of the Eagles’ RFPs mandate that vendors propose green-certified materials as standards, NRDC noted

“The grass clippings from the field are composted. Old cooking oil and grease are converted into biodiesel, which is brought back to power the stadium’s lawn mowers. Leftovers from the kitchen are donated to local shelters, and food waste is composted,” the Los Angeles Times reported in 2011. “If the team replaces a carpet, the contractor must explain how the old carpet will be recycled and specify how much recycled material is in the new one.”

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If the Most Important Green Aspects of Super Bowl LII are Two Beer TV Ads, Is That a Good Thing?

GreenSportsBlog
Lew Blaustein

Super Bowl LII will be played in Minnesota, one of the most environmentally-conscious states in the country. Host city Minneapolis is mass-transit friendly and filled with LEED certified stadia and arenas. The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will do battle in LEED Gold US Bank Stadium. The game will be zero-waste and 100 percent of the energy used to power the contest will be offset. Yet, it says here that the most important green aspect of the 2018 Super Bowl may well be two beer ads — unless the NFL steps up to tell the Big Game’s green story to the audience 100+ million people.

Question: What does this triumvirate — Clydesdale horses, the Bud Bowl, and recent catastrophic extreme weather events — have in common?

Answer: They are each themes of Budweiser Super Bowl ads, past and immediate future. If there was a Super Bowl Advertising Hall of Fame, the brand’s ads featuring the iconic, white maned horses and the fun, computer-generated football games played by teams of beer bottles (Bud vs. Bud Light!) would both certainly be first ballot inductees.

But corporate parent AB InBev’s stablemates Budweiser and Stella Artois are going in a different direction for Sunday’s broadcast on NBC.

In “Budweiser’s Super Bowl Beer Ad Isn’t about Beer,” which ran in the January 26 issue of Environmental LeaderJennifer Hermes reported that the brand’s 60 second Super Bowl spot is actually about…water: “[US corporate parent] Anheuser-Busch currently produces canned drinking water at its Cartersville, GA, brewery, and ships them to communities in need. This year, the company shipped nearly three million cans of emergency drinking water to areas hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and by the California wildfires. In total, the company says it has provided over 79 million cans of drinking water to communities in need. The Super Bowl ad tells the story of its employees in the Cartersville plant who produce the emergency drinking water. [It] features the general manager of the brewery, along with more than 20 of his local colleagues.”

Budweiser’s “Stand By You” water-themed Super Bowl ad (60 seconds)

Stella Artois’ 30 second ad, produced in partnership with water.org, features actor Patriots fan Matt Damon, who calls on beer lovers to step up to help solve the water crisis by buying a Stella beer chalice. Damon asserts that if just one percent of Super Bowl viewers purchase the glass, Stella will provide “clean water to one million people. For five years.”

Matt Damon stars in Stella Artois’ 30 second, water conservation-themed, Super Bowl ad

 

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