The sports industry has an unquestionable influence on our cultural priorities. Over the last century, we have seen important issues come to light — ranging from political opinion to questions of health and safety — in large part due to those involved in athletics having called attention to them. This gives those in the industry the opportunity and responsibility to use this platform to make differences where they are needed most.
Addressing environmental issues related to athletic facility operations and maintenance is one area where important changes can be made to set an example for those inside and outside the industry. It may not be a priority for field and facility managers with all their responsibilities, such as safety and performance. These will always be paramount, but environmental responsibility belongs in the same category, and it continues to become more important with time.
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Once sports and recreation facility operations programs are considered with environmental responsibility in mind, it becomes evident that there are plenty of relatively straightforward measures that are not only good for the environment, but will most likely contribute to safety, performance and reduced costs. But taking advantage of these opportunities requires that managers think more holistically about the scope of operations and how all pieces work together. Though athletic fields provide the biggest opportunities for sustainability measures, various types of facilities can apply these recommendations to their operations.
While there is technically no wrong place to start when becoming proactive about environmentally responsible facility management, here are five heavy hitters.