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IU Natatorium Earns Environmental ‘Innovator Of The Year’ Award

By Brad Davis

Photo: J.D. Gray

Photo: J.D. Gray

The Indiana University Natatorium swimming complex and Office of Sustainability are receiving national recognition for holding the first ever zero-waste Olympic event. The Green Sports Alliance is naming the facility on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus one of its Environmental Innovators of the Year.

In order to become a zero-waste venue, 90 percent of all waste from the facility must be recycled or composted. The Natatorium is the first zero-waste sports facility in Indiana.

The venue played host to the 2016 Olympic Diving Trials last year, making it the first Olympic event at a zero-waste facility.

“The most pivotal thing that you have to address is the waste that you’re actually providing people to generate in facility,” says Director of IUPUI Office of Sustainability Jessica Davis. “If you don’t address that as an organization and try to eliminate the products that people would throw away then you’re going to have a very difficult time achieving zero-waste.”

The Natatorium underwent a $20 million dollar upgrade before last year’s diving trials. Lighting renovations resulted in 43 percent less energy usage, and new filtration systems in the competition and diving pools reduced water and filtration energy by 65 percent and 25 percent respectively.

Davis says the next step is spreading zero-waste to professional sports venues as well.

“We’re hoping to tap into that sort-of mainstream American sports culture and really use it to push the sustainability movement,” she says.

View the full story here.

Environmental Innovator Winner: Oregon State University, Beaver Athlete Sustainability Team (BAST)

Oregon State University Athletics, Beaver Athletes Sustainability Team (BAST)

Nomination Application

Description of Project or Initiative: Please describe the program or initiative and how the applicant is leading the industry in encouraging environmental and social change in 500 words (4000 characters) or less. Be sure to include how the project or initiative embodies the 2017 Green Sports Alliance Summit Theme, PLAY GREENER ™: Engaging Fans, Athletes, and Communities.

The BAST (Beaver Athletes Sustainability Team) is comprised of student-athletes across all sports working to make the Oregon State athletic department the most sustainable and environmentally conscious athletic department in the Pac-12. The hope is to create a culture within Oregon State athletics that understands and recognizes the impact we have on the environment and strives to develop solutions to reduce that impact.

The team is leading the way in student-athlete involvement with collecting give away items after games, helping educate fans on proper recycling, and constantly pushing OSU athletics to make Oregon orange again. With weekly meetings, the group sits down to brainstorm ways on making environmental impacts on campus and within athletics. With the current projects of getting solar panels on all facilities through Players for the Planet, composting at team meals, energy efficient light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, and light timers so lights/TVs/computers are not constantly running. Recently with the help of the Green Sports Alliance and Pac-12’s initiative with various challenges, the BAST team has been more hands on with educating fans at games with what is acceptable to be recycled and what is not.

If possible, provide qualitative or quantitative data that demonstrates the environmental or social impact of your project.

During this past football season, the BAST group collected pompoms after the game from fans and throughout the seats. The team was able to collect 350 of the 500 pompoms back for our game against Cal and then 200 of the 500 LED light sticks that were handed out during the Arizona game. The group also educated 30 incoming student-athletes during the athletic departments BEST program about sustainability. During the Women’s Basketball Civil War game, the group collected 150 of the 500 pompoms distributed. The group is also using Eco-2-go containers that the school provides around campus during team meals. This helps to reduce the spread of illness around campus and is much more sustainable without generating waste.


EPA’s Green Power Partnership Announces Collegiate Green Power Challenge Champions

2017.05.04-NewsFeed-Green Power Challenge-IMAGE

Throughout the 2016-17 academic year, EPA’s Green Power Partnership tracked the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power usage in the nation. The College and University Green Power Challenge is open to any collegiate athletic conference in the United States.

On April 24, 2017, EPA concluded the Green Power Challenge and recognized the Champion Green Power Conference as well as the largest single green power users within each participating conference as 2016-17 EPA Green Power Challenge conference champions, listed in the below tables. The Champion Green Power Conference for the 2016-2017 Challenge is the Big Ten Conference and the individual school using the most green power is the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Interested in joining the 2017-18 Green Power Challenge? Check out our Steps to Join Green Power Partnership page for more information. To be listed, a conference must have at least two Green Power Partners and an aggregate green power purchase of at least 10 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) across the conference.

This list is current as of April 5, 2017. This is the final update to the 2016-17 College & University Green Power Challenge. Thank you and congratulations to all participating schools!

Read more here.