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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.

Q&A with JT Marburger, President of Renew Merchandise

Continuing our April focus on sustainable procurement, the Alliance recently did an informal Q&A with JT Marburger, President of Renew Merchandise.

(Photo credit: Renew Merchandise)

(Photo credit: Renew Merchandise)

Alliance: What’s one of the major issues regarding sports apparel and fan merchandise in terms of waste and product sourcing?

Renew: My opinion is the sports market has not yet unilaterally used their branded merchandise to demonstrate the value of recycling, fair labor and other energy related issues.

Alliance: Would you please explain the process that Renew uses and how it’s better for the environment and solves waste stream issues?

Renew: Simply put, recycling is most valuable when you have a market for the recycled material.  We make all our apparel out of recycled plastic bottles and this is one of the most environmentally favorable textiles. There is a great blog post by O Ecotextiles that explains why recycled polyester (rPET) is considered a sustainable textile (see post here). What makes Renew unique in the marketplace is we only use post-consumer recycled bottles and we are use a 3rd-party to legally certify how many bottles it takes to make each of our garments.

Alliance: What’s one business reason sports teams should look into sourcing and selling sustainable fan apparel and merchandise?

Renew: If you are looking to attract millennials to your venue, then offering upcycled and sustainable items will be impactful! Millennials are driving the marketplace these days.

Alliance: Do you have any sports case studies that you’ve has been a part of?

Renew: The USTA and US Open came to us with an issue of recycling tennis cans used in the tournament over several years.  Their waste provider said they could not be recycled because of the aluminum on the lip.  We recycled them and turned them into 35,000 lanyards for next year’s tournament for $0.03 less than they were paying for the same product not made from recycled tennis cans!

The Atlanta Braves have a uniform program made from recycled bottles and it engages them with the fans by saying, “Look what happened to the bottles you used!” It’s an easy way to deliver a message that doesn’t require a major budget or endless resources.  Upcycling and recycled merchandise will be executed in a much bigger way in the very near future. We look forward to progressing the sustainable fan apparel and merchandise industry

About Renew Merchandise

Renew Merchandise builds sustainability programs and aims to change recycling habits via branded merchandise made from recycled waste. All Renew fibers are made from certified post-consumer PET bottles that would have ended up in landfills. Learn more at renewmerchandise.com

(Photo credit: Renew Merchandise)

(Photo credit: Renew Merchandise)

BASF Sustainable Living Laboratory Unveiled at Newly Constructed Patrick F. Taylor Hall on the Campus of Louisiana State University

Representatives from BASF and LSU participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the BASF Sustainable Living Lab at Louisiana State University.

Representatives from BASF and LSU participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the BASF Sustainable Living Lab at Louisiana State University.

Louisiana State University (LSU) officials joined BASF executives in the public unveiling of the BASF Sustainable Living Laboratory on campus. The Lab, which is the first-of-its-kind at LSU and in the Southeast region, is an innovative space that promotes problem-based teaching and research focused on sustainable solutions to meet global challenges. As part of BASF’s workforce development and science education efforts in the region, the Lab is the result of a $1 million donation BASF made to LSU Foundation and the College of Engineering first announced in 2014.

“BASF has had an ongoing relationship with LSU and the investment in the BASF Sustainable Living Lab is a natural fit for us” said Tom Yura, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s site in Geismar. “The Lab promotes innovative research to achieve sustainable solutions, enhances science education for students of all levels and helps foster workforce development opportunities in the Gulf Coast – all of which are at the core of BASF’s mission to create chemistry for a sustainable future.”

BASF’s support of LSU also includes a $100,000 donation to complete the new LSU Career Center, more than $20,000 in annual scholarships to College of Engineering students, and annual summer internship opportunities. In addition, BASF is supporting LSU with several initiatives that focus on sustainability opportunities on campus for students, alumni and the general public. These efforts are establishing LSU as a leader on sustainability in the Southeast region.

“BASF is not just a financial contributor, but a true partner dedicated to the education of students both in and out of the classroom,” Richard J. Koubek, Ph.D., LSU Executive Vice President and Provost, said. “It’s a collaborative relationship that our students benefit from by having enriched educational opportunities that prepare them for the workforce and real world exposure to a company’s approach in finding innovative and sustainable solutions to today’s challenges.”

The Lab is housed in Patrick F. Taylor Hall, the largest freestanding academic building in Louisiana. BASF products were used throughout the construction of the lab, including ceiling tiles, flooring and wall paint. The Lab also features a state-of-the-art communication system that enables virtual participation through webcasting technology.

Read the full press release here.

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