PAC-12 PLEDGES TO HOST FIRST CONFERENCE-WIDE COLLEGE SPORTS SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT
Announcement Part of White House OSTP Call to Action To Tackle Climate Through Sports
SAN FRANCISCO – Today as part of a series of announcements made by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on sports and sustainability, the Pac-12 Conference, alongside its member universities, pledged to take a leadership position in promoting sustainability through sports.
In an effort to influence conferences and universities around the country on this important issue, the Pac-12 will host the first conference-wide college sports sustainability summit in June 2017 in Sacramento, Calif. as part of the annual Green Sports Alliance Summit. This event will convene sustainability officers from across the conference to design new collective initiatives and share best practices to transform college sports into a platform for environmental progress.
“Our member universities and athletics departments are national leaders in minimizing their impact on the environment,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “In hosting this summit, we look forward to convening an esteemed group of experts to design new initiatives and share best practices to enhance our collective efforts.”
The pledge was part of a larger push to use sports to address climate change. Earlier this year, the OSTP put out a call to action to capture new commitments and actions that leagues, teams, and organizations were taking in the climate space. Today’s announcement by the OSTP featured the Pac-12’s commitment along with other organizations’ pledges to minimize the environmental impact of their footprint and increase their response to counter the impact of climate change.
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Aubrey McCormick for GreenBiz
Not many people know this, but the golf industry is estimated to drive more than $70 billion in revenue into the U.S. economy. It raises more charitable donations than the National Football League, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association combined, donating close to $2 billion a year.
And while there are sustainability impacts from golf — its high usage of water, chemicals and pesticides, not to mention the sometimes narrow views of the industry’s leaders, which can inhibit positive change — we have to start somewhere. The goal is not to shame the golf industry. It’s to work together for the greater good through sport.
After some lobbying, things improved this year. We spent the last year gaining the support and buy-in of some of the top leaders of golf’s governing bodies to embrace a conversation around sustainability and collaboration. My business partner Gina Rizzi and I, through our firm, IMPACT360, worked with GSA and successfully lined up the first golf industry panel in the summit’s seven-year history.
Each discussed ways in which they are working together to meet environmental and social goals. Examples included:
- Development of the first corporate social responsibility report, being released this month, featuring one of America’s oldest athletic venues, the Olympic Club.
- Development of the GCSAA best management practices to address irrigation and responsible chemical and pesticide use on golf courses.
- Military, youth and diversity inclusion programs to expand opportunities within golf through the PGA Colorado Section’s PGA Reach Foundation.
- Developing partnerships to expand the game’s impact through sustainability.
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Click here to register for the 2017 Green Sports Alliance Summit.