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US Open Greener Than Ever in 2016

By McCarton Ackerman

Photo by: (Jennifer Pottheiser/USTA)

Photo by: (Jennifer Pottheiser/USTA)

The new Grandstand is highlighted by a blue court customary to the US Open, but the new 8,000-seat stadium is also going green.

It’s the first stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to be LEED certified. The accolade was awarded for its practical and measurable initiatives designed to save water, conserve energy and improve both its materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Fifteen percent less energy and 40 percent less water is used in the new Grandstand than in standard buildings, while also using a rainwater treatment system that removes contaminants from the water before it’s released into the environment. More than 10 percent of the materials used to build the Grandstand was made from recycled materials, while 90 percent of the generated waste was diverted from landfills. Low-fume emitting paints reduce the emission of pollutants, while the white roof reflects heat to keep the stadium cooler.

It’s just a small part of the US Open Green Initiative that’s been in place since 2008 and continues to expand each year. This year’s initiative will offset the carbon emissions from the 850 players and 9,000 employees on site during the US Open, in addition to the fuel used to run the tournament. By diverting more than 850 tons of waste from going into a landfill, more than 1,000 tons of greenhouse gases will be saved from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Other highlights include 12,000 gallons of food grease from US Open kitchens being converted into biodiesel fuel, using only recycled material for the 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area, and installing LED court lights that are 50 percent more efficient than standard stadium lighting. In addition, the US Open expects to donate 10 tons of food to local communities.

The greatest sporting event on earth is now doing more than ever to protect our earth.

See the full story here.

‘Green’ Survey Results

SportsBusiness Journal

Green Sports Alliance survey shows that sustainability efforts continue to catch on in sports, but cost perceptions thwart growth.

2016.06.07-NewsFeed-SBJ Green Survey Results-IMAGE2

Photo Credit Canada’s Best Racing Team, Joey McColm

SportsBusiness Journal partnered with the Green Sports Alliance to survey its members and assess the state of — and perceptions and attitudes toward — sustainability efforts in sports.

The GSA works with leagues, teams, venues, events and others to promote recycling, energy and water conservation, local sourcing, safer chemicals and other practices that benefit the environment.

The survey results show that green initiatives continue to face many of the same challenges and perceptions that have kept such practices from becoming more widespread.

Upfront cost was clearly identified as the leading obstacle to implementing green initiatives. Along those lines, close to half reported that their biggest investment in sustainability was over $250,000.

“Everybody wants to contribute and do their part, but when the financials aren’t there, it’s harder for them to do their part,” said Nikolay Panchev, senior vice president of research at Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, which administered the survey.

SportsBusiness Journal

SportsBusiness Journal

Among other key takeaways:

Recycling, LED lighting and energy efficiency upgrades were the most popular sustainability initiatives — more than three quarters of members reported involvement in them. Roughly two out of three are involved in food donation and composting. “These are the more palatable investments both in terms of cost and how much effort and hours you are going to have to introduce to commit to this,” Panchev said.

Roughly 60 percent have sold sponsorships that include “green” assets. That reflects a growing new piece of inventory. “They are starting to figure this out,” Panchev said.

Members appear wary of the sports industry’s perceptions of sustainability initiatives as simply “green washing” public relations moves. While GSA members said they engaged in sustainability because they felt it was their responsibility to be good stewards, they also said they did so to cut costs. In comparison, 35 percent described the overall view in the sports industry toward sustainability initiatives as PR, and only 8 percent think the overall industry views the efforts as a cost-saving measure.

The online survey was distributed among the GSA’s approximately 375 members and a total of 63 participated, representing venues, teams, leagues and events. The data was collected from April 25 to May 15. Turnkey administered the survey and processed the results. See the results on the pages that follow.

Read the full article here.

(Please note that a subscription to SportsBusiness Journal is required to see full article text.)

Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Switches to LEDs

The Bridgestone Arena in Nashville – the home of the National Hockey League’s Predators and site of the all-star festivities in January, 2016 – now is illuminated by LED lighting, according to Facility Executive. The new lights were switched on for the September 20 exhibition game between the Predators and the Florida Panthers.

Ephesus-Lighting-logoThe LEDs were provided by Ephesus Lighting, which is headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y. The transition enabled the arena to cut the number of fixtures by half: 247 metal halide fixtures were replaced by 120 LEDs. The light light level has increased to more than 200 footcandles, while saving more than 75 percent of energy compared to the previous lighting.

Bridgestone Arena is the sixth hosting NHL teams that switched to LEDs.

The Nashville Public Radio story on the switch noted that the LEDs generate less heat than the metal halide lights they replace one a one-on-one basis. Combined with the fact that they are fewer fixtures overall leads to a reduction in energy needed to keep the ice in game condition.

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