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Blog Archives

Sports Stadiums Help Lead the Way Toward Greener Architecture

By Ken Belson, New York Times

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is the first to win Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification for energy efficiency and sustainable design. Credit: Kevin D. Liles for The New York Times

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is the first to win Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification for energy efficiency and sustainable design.
Credit: Kevin D. Liles for The New York Times

ATLANTA — On a walking tour of the nine-month-old, $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium here last month, Scott Jenkins, the general manager for the building, stopped in front of a 20-foot-high gray concrete box underneath an overpass. There was little to suggest what was inside. No signs, markings or equipment.

Mr. Jenkins, an evangelist for all things green, was animated. The otherwise generic structure, he said, holds up to 680,000 gallons of rainwater collected mostly from the roof of the enormous stadium standing just a few feet away. The runoff is used to irrigate the vegetation around the building, and by storing much of it, flooding will be reduced in the low-lying West End neighborhood nearby. In other words, the 120-foot-long cistern saves money and helps the surrounding area.

“It’s a community play as much as an environmental play, to do our part around issues in the neighborhood,” Mr. Jenkins said. “If you looked at the return on investment for the water, it will take a long time to pay off. But some of this is good for business and some is good for the community.”

Read the full article here.

UEFA/WWF report – ‘Playing for Our Planet’

By UEFA

A report by UEFA and its associated social responsibility partner World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) describes the way in which sport can contribute to sustainability, and examines the link between sport and environmental issues.

A report by UEFA and its associated social responsibility partner World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) describes the way in which sport can contribute to sustainability, and examines the link between sport and environmental issues.

A new report by UEFA and its associated social responsibility partner World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) shows how sport can contribute to sustainability and tackle climate change at all levels, from the grassroots to the elite.

The report, ‘Playing for Our Planet’, focuses on environmental initiatives taking place across sport in Europe and beyond, and has been produced by UEFA and WWF in collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance.

It highlights good practices in sustainable sports to emphasise the commitment made by many sports to local communities and the planet.

The report examines the link between sports and environmental issues, and stresses the impact that the sector has, as well as its unique power to raise awareness and promote sustainability to fans in Europe and beyond.

‘Playing for Our Planet’ features 25 examples of sports stakeholders, including UEFA, who are committed to reducing the environmental impact of their operations – leading by example in the fight against pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change and ocean plastics.

“The activities showcased from around Europe show a great innovative spirit, and demonstrate that sport can contribute to sustainable causes at all levels,” says UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

“Sustainability is one of the most significant issues facing decision-makers and opinion leaders in sport as they prepare for the future,” he added.

Sports stakeholders are being called upon to step up their efforts to reduce their environmental impacts and use their unparalleled reach to encourage sustainability.

“From a Sunday kickabout in the park to grand tournaments, all sports rely on nature’s bounty,” says WWF global partnerships director Jochem Verberne.

“And all sporting organisations have a responsibility to care for the environment and inspire millions of fans and players around the world about sustainability and nature.”

Alongside European stakeholders, the report also covers their counterparts in North America to emphasise the link between global and local concerns.

Backing for the report has come from the European Commission and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – showing that united cooperation between public institutions and the sports movement is key in efforts to protect the planet.

See the full story here.

Kansas City Chiefs Debuts Compostable Peanut Bags During Football Game

By Anna Spiewak, BASF Corp.

The new bright red peanut bag designed using certified compostable materials is replacing the standard laminated polypropylene peanut bag currently available at stadiums. (Image courtesy of Amarak)

The new bright red peanut bag designed using certified compostable materials is replacing the standard laminated polypropylene peanut bag currently available at stadiums. (Image courtesy of Amarak)

This article is sponsored by BASF.

It takes a village to make a compostable peanut bag. After all, it took the collaboration of four companies to make it happen: BASF; Hampton Farms; Aramark and the Kansas City Chiefs.

It all started with the professional football team. As an initiative to implement additional sustainability efforts at Arrowhead Stadium, Brandon Hamilton, Kansas City Chiefs vice president of stadium operations, knew a compostable peanut package would get the stadium one step closer towards the Chiefs’ environmental initiative, “Extra Yard for the Environment.”

“As corporate citizens, it is important for us to do our part towards sustainable practices. We all understand the platform we have in professional sports. We have the opportunity to lead by example and be change agents in this industry,” Hamilton told BASF in an exclusive interview. “In looking at our diversion process, there are a couple of obstacles in the way of reaching higher numbers; some items that our concessionaires sell are either not compostable or not recyclable, and the peanut bag is an example of that.”

The trend towards waste reduction is not new. About 32 million pounds of food waste are diverted annually, according to Missouri Organic Recycling, the local Kansas City composter, which is enough to fill 15 football fields 1 foot deep.

Most sports venues today have some sort of recycling or composting programs in place. Providing separate collection bins for fans to dispose their waste is a start. But diverting waste from landfills is where the real benefit comes. Hamilton wanted to be the first. Part of his waste diversion plan was to come up with compostable peanut bags or stop selling them at the stadium altogether.

Read the full story here.

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