Blog Archives

Major League Baseball Ramping up Sustainability Efforts

Climate Action

Photo: Antoine Schibler

Photo: Antoine Schibler

Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced a new initiative with Arizona State University to further sustainability efforts during the new spring season.

The MLB is partnering with the university’s School of Sustainability to implement and assess new initiatives throughout the Cactus League.

The pilot project will take place at the Salt River Fields stadium, which hosts both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies during their spring training schedule.

The stadium will be the focus of a new ‘Recycle Rally’, designed to reduce landfill and test zero waste strategies. Students from the school will determine how Salt River Fields can adopt waste diversion practices, such as recycling, reusing and composting. It will also engage fans with activities and challenges during games to raise awareness of the impacts of waste.

“This is a perfect partnership for ASU’s School of Sustainability,” said Christopher Boone, Dean of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, “One of our core purposes is to use our expertise and innovation to create meaningful change in our community – and ultimately, nationally and globally too. We are thrilled to be able to let our faculty and students apply their classroom knowledge in a real-world setting and help the Cactus League aim for the ambitious goal of zero waste.”

Colorado Rockies Executive Vice President, Greg Feasel, commented: “We are very proud that this partnership with ASU and MLB will educate us and further minimize the environmental impact of the entire Salt River Fields complex, making an already LEED Gold Certified facility even better”.

The two organisations will also visit 10 other ballparks during the 2018 season to document their own waste systems and see how they can be improved. MLB is also working on a separate freshwater restoration campaign called Change the Course, to offset 100 percent of water usage in the Cactus League. This will hopefully see five million gallons of freshwater restored in areas of Arizona with especially depleted rivers and streams. The issue is of vital importance in a state where over half of the area is deemed to be in severe drought.

View the full story here.

Can Golf Courses in Asia Meet the Challenge of Sustainability?

Climate Action

Photo Credit: Sentosa Golf Club

Photo Credit: Sentosa Golf Club

At a recent conference at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore, a small group of 40 individuals from the golfing community met to discuss the looming issue of how to make their sport sustainable.

Staged while the Singapore Open was taking place outside, presentations were held on the theme of ‘Sustainable Practices within the Club Industry’.

The task before them couldn’t be much greater, or daunting, given an estimated 6,000 golf courses exist across the continent, with many more in development.

It remains to be seen whether concerns of sustainability and the impacts of climate change have taken root within the industry. Eric Lynge, CEO, of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, recently told the South China Morning Post that “people in the golf industry here all know sustainability is a necessary aspect of good practice now, albeit mixed with a degree of trepidation”.

The Scottish-based Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) was in attendance at the Singapore ‘mini-summit’, and it is leading adviser on environmental practices within the sport. The foundation also provides certification to sustainable courses around the world.

Jonathan Smith, the foundation’s executive director said in a speech that “in so many ways, from eco-system services and conservation of wildlife, to health and well-being for all ages, volunteering, outreach, jobs and supply chains, golf is good for nature and communities”.

The GEO’s guidelines include criteria on appropriate course design, water conservation, soil management, and improving wildlife habitats, among others.

However, only four of China’s estimated 500 golf courses are fully certified within the GEO’s strict qualifications, with another 12 committed to a programme of improvements. Japan has none.

Mr Lynge illustrated the current problem as one of cost: “there’s an economic pressure on golf here, so the perception is still that sustainability is expensive, or that it would result in a deterioration of playing conditions. But those objections can be overcome”.

And while the PGA in America has also started to make inroads into sustainability, having recently released its first environmental impact report, the issue is one of urgency.

Another report from the Climate Coalition has highlighted how climate change is already threatening the future of the UK’s favourite sports, and golf was one of them.

It’s hoped that with the game growing in Asia, sustainability can be incorporated early on, rather than at the end. Smith commented during his talk in Singapore that “as regulation threatens, as resource costs increase, as communities and consumers expect more…it makes every sense for golf facilities to explore their practices and look for new ways to increase value and reduce costs”

“There really isn’t anything in sustainability that isn’t good for golf businesses”, he added.

View the full story here.

March/April issue of Facilities Manager magazine

APPA Facilities Manager

APPA has just published the March/April issue of Facilities Manager magazine, which includes a compilation of 36 campus best practices in sustainability and environmental stewardship and education.  These short case studies show a great variety of innovation, collaboration, and success from institutions large and small throughout North America.

2018.03.28-APPA March-April Issue-IMAGE


Click here to view the full issue.