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Phoenix, Arizona: Diamondbacks Sprout Vertical Garden

By BioCycle
Composting Roundup

Diamondbacks’ food waste composting and vertical garden Photo by Taylor Jackson/Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks’ food waste composting and vertical garden
Photo by Taylor Jackson/Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks, a Major League Baseball team, installed a vertical urban garden that is using compost produced from its fledgling organics diversion program.

Funded by UnitedHealthcare and designed by Flower Street Urban Gardens, the garden’s 180 square feet of vertically hanging planting space just outside the main ballpark gates contains up to 200 assorted herbs, including basil, chives, lavender, oregano and rosemary. Diamondbacks’ concessionaire Levy Restaurants collaborated with the team to choose herbs that can be integrated into its menus. Excess produce is donated to local organizations, such as St. Vincent de Paul.

“The vertical garden has been a wish list item for some time,” explains Graham Rossini, Vice President of Special Projects for the team. “We were finally able to engage a couple of partners to bring in the resources.” UnitedHealthcare is using the garden as a tool to teach healthy eating and demonstrate a growing system that can be installed at home. It sponsors dedicated events to bring youth and school group tours to the ballpark.

Soil amendments for the garden are produced in part from the preconsumer food waste that the Diamondbacks began diverting this season. Over the first 48 home games, the club and its hauler Waste Management have diverted more than 18 tons to GRO-WELL, a Phoenix area composting facility. Based on the year-to-date tonnage, Rossini expects 35 tons will be diverted before the end of the season. “Our primary focus has been on back-of-house kitchen and prep areas to ensure a clean stream of organic materials,” he says. “With success in the more controlled locations, we’ve expanded collection to [kitchens and prep areas in] select concessions stands and subcontractors and will continue to grow as quickly as possible.”

The Diamondbacks and Levy Restaurants have donated over 6 tons of unused concessions’ food to Phoenix’s Church on the Street so far this season, which equates to approximately 10,000 individual meals to those in need.

Read the full highlight here.

Stanford University Becomes Second Institution to Earn AASHE STARS Platinum Rating

AASHE

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.

It’s Overtime for Climate Change and Everyone Needs to Score

SportsBusiness Journal
By Vivek Ranadivé

As the heart of civic life, sports teams have a unique opportunity to be a leader in the environmental change movement. The greatest civilizations in the world have centered around large gathering places where people come together to talk, interact, enjoy sports and entertainment, and even engage in political debate. Today, sports venues are no different — they serve as the 21st century communal fireplace.

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When we set out to build the new Sacramento Kings arena in downtown Sacramento, we asked more than 20,000 Sacramentans what they wanted to achieve in their new arena, Golden 1 Center. Across the board the answer was: “To become a model of sustainability.”

And that is what we built. Our new arena achieves the highest sustainability standards, becoming the world’s only 100 percent solar-powered and LEED platinum-certified arena — putting it in the top 3 percent of all buildings scored by the organization.

By moving our arena downtown, we are reducing average miles traveled per attendee by 20 percent, cutting overall air emissions by 24 percent, and by 2020, will have reduced travel-related greenhouse gas emissions per attendee by 36 percent.

As the first-ever indoor/outdoor arena in the world, we’re able to take advantage of the region’s natural cooling phenomenon — The Delta Breeze — to control the building’s climate efficiently.

We built seven green outdoor walls totaling 4,800 square feet — covering two-thirds of the arena — as a living symbol of sustainability, installed low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the arena, which can save over 40 percent of a typical arena’s water consumption, and ensured 99 percent of our demolition materials from the construction of the arena — over 101,000 tons — were recycled and diverted from landfills.

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