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52 Super Series is Setting Trends in Sustainability

By 52 Super Series

2017.11.10-NewsFeed-52 Super Series-IMAGE

By partnering with 11th Hour Racing in early 2015, the 52 Super Series made a formal, public commitment to tackle its carbon footprint head-on, and begin working to minimise its impact on the environment.

Fast forward three season to where we are now, and today, the 52 Super Series has exceeded its own expectations and is setting trends in sustainability. A hot topic, sustainability has gained its own momentum, and is embraced by competing teams, as well as local host organisations and partners. The 52 Super Series is changing minds and visibly making a difference wherever it goes.

Over the last few decades, the exploitation and degradation of our planet has gone up at an alarming rate. And whilst there is now a real public consensus about the fragile state of things, more often than not, good intent doesn’t translate into meaningful action. The 52 Super Series has been fighting to break that cycle by coupling positive messages with the power of sport. As a team of sailors who love and respect the sea, protecting the racing arena was a natural place to start.

It began with an official announcement, quickly followed up by the formation of a host agreement set out to align 52 Super Series host venues with certain environmental standards, such as waste management. Competing teams were immediately notified about the new strategic direction and encouraged to send a representative to the newly-regular sustainability meetings. The 52 Super Series joined the Green Sports Alliance, and worked hand-in-hand with 11th Hour Racing to develop an all-encompassing sustainability plan that addressed each layer of the organisation.

With new eco-friendly foundations, the newly appointed Sustainability Team started driving forward. In the public fight against single-use plastic, the 52 Super Series has completely removed plastic from its entire operation. No longer is plastic found in lunch packaging, included in lunches as cutlery or distributed by way of grab-and-go water bottles. A model for all sports, this alone has withdrawn a possible 60,000 bottles from circulation.

But plastic is only the tip of the iceberg. So too, have organisers found ways to improve the water supply, waste policies, food provision, fuel usage, materials and transport provision. The list of individual initiatives and policies employed by the 52 Super Series is really quite extensive, and three years down the line, it’s clear that other people and organisations are now seeing this, listening to the arguments, and carrying the important message forward in their own lives.

Sustainability Director for the 52 Super Series, Lars Böcking, reflects on the progress made:

“We are a small, but passionate team who are learning every day. We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made over the last three years. It is our goal to reduce our environmental footprint to nill, or even better: leave each place in better shape than the way we found it, but there is still some way to go.

Regarded as the best monohull racing circuit in the world, the 52 Super Series is a hotbed of top class sailing talent. All eyes are on us. We will reflect on the good work we have done and continue in our important role as influencers in sustainability.”

Given the success of the practical elements that make up part of the Sustainability Plan, the 52 Super Series is now very much focussed on the next steps, on using its influence in new ways.

Read the complete story here.

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Pro Sports Going Green Makes Dollars And Cents

Forbes

Nascar is going green (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Nascar is going green (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

It hasn’t taken long for sports organizations and athletes to set and meet ambitious goals to go green. Members of the Green Sports Alliance, which boasts some 500 professional and collegiate leagues, teams, venues, vendors, and athletes, takes the stance that if it’s good for the environment and good for the community, it’s going to be good for business. Among those nearly 500 organizations, here are a few examples:

NASCARs Pocono Raceway: “If it can be done, it will be done.”

Few Americans would make a ready link between environmental sustainability and auto racing, but NASCAR is serious about it. Consider Pocono’s “Tricky Triangle.” It’s the first major American venue to run entirely on solar — the solar farm that powers it sits next to the track. The solar farm has already produced over 24 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and is expected to generate over 72 million kWh during its first 20 years of operation. To date, Pocono Raceway’s solar farm has offset over 16,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 3,600 passenger vehicles. Biofuel powers the racecar engines that are lubricated with recycled oils and fluids. And Nascar’s green commitment doesn’t stop on the track.

Raceways like Pocono face a recycling problem unique to the sport: what to do with all those tires; just a single race can go through 600. But these disposables are reborn to new life in ways you’ve come across without even knowing it: the portable speed bump you drive over, the anti-fatigue mat you stand on while you cook, the friendly playground surface where your kids play without scrapes all come from ‘crumb rubber,’ the recycled residue from used tires. Even the paint on your automobile may include material that once competed for the checkered flag.

Keeping cool at the Golden 1 Center is a breeze.

Before even starting conceptual drawings for their 17,500-seat sports venue, the Sacramento Kings surveyed Sacramento residents to find out what they wanted in an arena. This fully solar-powered, LEED-Platinum gem in the heart of California’s Central Valley is the result. Golden 1 Center also seats 19,000 music fans for a full array of concerts. Among its many innovations, and one of its most distinctive features are the 50-foot-high glass hangar doors. They open to take advantage of Sacramento’s delta breeze, creating natural cooling in a city where outdoor temperatures can top 100 degrees. Dedicated vents pipe in cool air directly under arena seating. Energy use in the Golden 1 Center is reduced by 30% over California Title 24 code, so that there are 2,000 fewer tons of annual carbon emissions, and a 45% reduction in water use is also well above California code.

The fertile farmland of the Central Valley supports Golden 1 Center’s 10-point Farm-to-Court philosophy regarding food service. A full 90% of their ingredients come from within a 150 mile radius. What isn’t served to fans and guests goes to the Sacramento Food Bank; any food waste gets processed into fertilizer that nourishes the soil at local farms.

Andrew Ference: from hockey to the VC arena

Recognized with the Green Sports Alliance’s Environmental Leadership Award, the highest in sports sustainability, NHL defenseman Andrew Ference played 16 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, and the Edmonton Oilers. Now retired from the sport at 37, his next career sits squarely in the world of business. With a certificate in Corporate Sustainability and Innovation from Harvard’s extension school, he’s entered the world of high risk, high reward venture capital — in particular, by involvement with clean tech startups.

Ference’s commitment to the environment is long-standing. Over 10 years ago, he was instrumental in starting NHL Green, now a league-wide sustainability initiative. Today, he’s using that same relationship-building approach he used then to get other environmentally-savvy athletes on board for a new speakers’ bureau focused on spreading the word on sustainability.

The New York Yankees and PlanLED: lighting the way in schools

After the success of the lighting conversion to LED at Seattle’s Safeco Field, the New York Yankees partnered with Seattle-based PlanLED to do a retrofit of their own beloved stadium. The work on the stadium is complete, and the work in the community is in its early innings.

They’ve teamed up with Mariano Rivera and SHINE HOPE, which takes profits from commercial retrofits and uses the money to fund upgrades to LED systems in local schools. Since its inception, hundreds of schools have received free state-of-the-art LED lights that offer truer, more natural light. These lights are environmentally friendly, much less expensive to power, and they are linked to health and increased learning. This past year, projects in two classrooms alone saved over 17,000 kWh.

Aramark: Stepping up to the plate – the dinner plate.

Some of the biggest impacts in the world of sports and sustainability aren’t on the field, but are found in related fan services, particularly in regard to food and drink. Hospitality companies such as the $15 billion food services giant Aramark, which serves 100 million sports fans each year, understand this.

Ingredient sourcing, appropriate waste disposal, and cleanup are just as essential to their mission as working with top chefs to develop menus that are fresh, locally sourced, and sustainably harvested to meet the needs of more discerning palates. They’ve already met their commitment to use only cage-free shell eggs in the US by 2015. They are on track with other protein goals: sustainable seafood by 2018, and group-housed pork by 2022As part of their contracts with Aramark, concessionaires they work with at individual sports venues have switched to compostable service ware instead of plastics.

Green appears to be the newest trend in sports!

Read the full story here.

UA Makes Sustainability Competitive

By Victor Garcia

Ben Champion, director of the Office of Sustainability, sorts waste from the PAC-12 Zero Waste challenge during the homecoming football game on Oct. 29, 2016. The UA Office of Sustainability alongside student organizations help solve the problem of removing trash from campus and the football stadium every year.

Ben Champion, director of the Office of Sustainability, sorts waste from the PAC-12 Zero Waste challenge during the homecoming football game on Oct. 29, 2016. The UA Office of Sustainability alongside student organizations help solve the problem of removing trash from campus and the football stadium every year.

Homecoming is one of the biggest events of the school year at the University of Arizona, with the accompanying football game drawing thousands of fans. With each spectator, one can expect a couple of drinks and snacks during the game, and with that comes trash.

The UA Office of Sustainability and student organizations help solve the problem of removing trash from campus and the football stadium every year in the Green Sports Alliance Zero Waste Challenge.

Schools in the Pacific 12 Conference compete against each other to divert the most trash from their campus in a selected athletic event. This year’s event was UA’s Homecoming football game.

“At the end of the game, all the compost and recycling gets weighted, and that percentage is compared to the other universities,” said Celeste Colmenares, chair of Greening the Game. “We came out in third place in the Zero Waste competition, and we are trying to increase our diversion rate. Instead of focusing mainly on the stadium, this year we will be focusing on tailgating.”

Members of organizations like Greening the Game, Students for Sustainability and the Green Team volunteer to stay after the game to pick up whatever can be taken to a landfill, recycled or re-purposed.

“We are trying to get a lot of community involvement; we want to teach the community how to recycle,” Colmenares said. “This year we have an incentive: You get to win two football tickets for the next game if you bring a bag of recycling to our tent. ”

Greening the Game tents were stationed around the football stadium and were present during the tailgate as well.

Last year, UA came in third place with an impressive 70 percent of waste diverted for its Zero Waste Challenge. “We collected 2.97 tons of compost [last year]. In recycling we collected 2.31 tons, and what was sent to the landfill was 2.3 tons,” said Coordinator of Sustainability Programs Julia Rudnick.

According to Rudnick, clubs working in sustainability will not only participate in the Pac-12 competition, but have joined to compete at a national level.

“Game Day Recycling is a national recycling competition,” Rudnick said. “We will turn in our diversion numbers for this, too. Out of 79 schools, we came in 10th place in that one last year.”

Rebecca Newton, operations manager for Greening the Game, said now is the time to act.

“We live in a time where it is ‘do or die’ when it comes to the environment,” she said. “I love my experience with Greening the Game because, as a society, we choose to work together and support each other in trying to keep not only our campus but our planet clean.”

Read the full story here.

SPORTS MEMBERS INCLUDE...
390
TOTAL SPORTS MEMBERS
184
TEAMS
191
VENUES
15
LEAGUES