Blog Archives

Australian Open Aids Melbourne’s Fight Against Climate Change

By Matthew Campelli, Sport Sustainability Journal

As Melbourne gets hotter and drier, the organisers of the year’s first Grand Slam are aiding the city’s climate change fight by hosting a sustainable tournament.

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It looks like the first week (at least) of this year’s Australian Open will be another scorcher. Players harbouring hopes of easing themselves into the tournament, thus keeping themselves fresh for sterner tests in later rounds, will be greeted by temperatures of 35°C-plus. Many first and second round matches will become fights for survival.

January is traditionally a hot month in Melbourne and players will, more or less, be prepared for the conditions. But organisers will be hoping to avoid repeats of 2014 and 2018. During the latter, France’s Alize Cornet required medical assistance after falling ill, while five years ago the heat was so strong that Canadian player Frank Dancevic started to hallucinate during a match.

Last year was, in fact, Australia’s third warmest on record. Worryingly for the nation – and tournament organisers – is that nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Australia is getting hotter. And the significant weather events that happened over the last 12 months could be a sign of things to come.

Victoria, the home state of Melbourne (where the first Grand Slam of the year is played annually), declared a state of emergency due to raging bushfires for the second year in a row.

These events, catalysed by global warming, prompted the City of Melbourne to launch its own Climate Change Mitigation Strategy 2050 last month, which aligns with the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep the global rise in temperature below 1.5°C. In 2018, Australia’s average maximum temperature was 1.55°C above the 1961-1990 average.

Read the full article here.

Roger McClendon, the New Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance

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Yum! Brands’ first-ever chief sustainability officer takes centre stage in the US’s growing green sports movement. How will the strategic executive approach his new role?

The sustainable sports movement is undoubtedly growing – no more so than in the US where several instances of leadership can be found. It was the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles that became the first professional sports team to achieve the ISO 20121 sustainable event management certification. In 2014, the NHL was the first professional sports league to publish a report specifically focused on sustainability (with a subsequent report unveiled last year).

Venue-wise, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team and Atlanta United of the MLS, and the Golden 1 Center, occupied by the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, can claim to be the most sustainable sports venues of their type in the world.

And whenever there is an announcement about an MLS expansion club, NFL franchise or NBA team building a new stadium or arena, it’s almost a given now that the facility will achieve some level of LEED certification (the US Green Building Council’s system for rating buildings on their environmental credentials.).

At the heart of this is the Green Sports Alliance, an organisation of more than 400 members, including teams, leagues and venues, that come together to share good practice and to collaborate with the mission of making the sports sector in the US a more sustainable and responsible industry. Following the departure of former executive director Justin Zeulner last year, Roger McClendon will lead the organisation through its next stage of evolution.

Read the full article here.

Former Yum Executive to Lead International Sports Organization

By Louisville Business First

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A former executive with Yum Brands Inc. in Louisville is the new leader of a international sports organization.

Roger McClendon will lead the Green Sports Alliance, which consists of international sports and stadium executives, as well as sustainability experts. The alliance uses sports as a vehicle to promote healthy, sustainable communities around the world.

McClendon’s hire is part of a broader infusion of new executive and board leadership, according to a news release from the Portland, Ore.-based organization.

“I look forward to taking the alliance to the next level and ensuring sports plays a key role in the global sustainability movement, focused on measurable impact,” McClendon said in the release. “Along with our board, members and staff, we are poised to develop the alliance’s vision, while leveraging global innovation and strategic partnerships, to improve the social and environmental well-being of future generations.”

McClendon was the first chief sustainability officer for Louisville-based Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), whose holdings include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants. He also led the development of Blueline, a sustainable design guide for restaurants built on the LEED certification program. Blueline was a global standard implemented in about 5,000 Yum Brand restaurants globally.

McClendon left Yum Brands last spring. He was chosen for his new position after a national search.

Read the full article here.

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