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VinylPlus® unveils top speakers and programme for VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2018

Industry Today

VinylPlus has revealed its programme featuring top speakers and inspiring panel discussions to share visions on the potential of the industry to deliver on sustainable prosperity at the sixth VinylPlus Sustainability Forum in Madrid, Spain on May 16th and 17th 2018.

VinylPlus has revealed its programme featuring top speakers and inspiring panel discussions to share visions on the potential of the industry to deliver on sustainable prosperity at the sixth VinylPlus Sustainability Forum in Madrid, Spain on May 16th and 17th 2018.

Organised by VinylPlus, the Voluntary Commitment to sustainable development by the European PVC industry, the forum’s theme of ‘Meeting Societal Needs’ will explore how the vinyl sector’s products and services can help to meet the diverse challenges presented by future society in areas such as healthcare, housing and related infrastructure.

Keynote speeches, presentations and discussions will feature representatives spanning the EU institutions, the UN, academia, politicians, specifiers, designers, architects, recyclers and all sectors of the PVC industry.

Key topics for debate include policy frameworks, new forms of partnerships to address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how the industry can respond to increasing environmental pressures. Among the keynote speakers, Anders Wijkman, Co-president of the global think tank Club of Rome will highlight issues relating to ‘Meeting the challenges of the era of peak global population’, including aligning industry with circular economy principles and recycled materials’ place in a global market.

Following him is Nilgün Tas, Chief and Deputy Director of UNIDO’s Industrial Resource Efficiency Division looking at solutions for collaborative policy frameworks and sharing sustainability best practices globally. Fellow panellists will include MEP Martina Dlabajová, European Parliament, and Timoteo De La Fuente Garcia, Policy Officer, DG Grow, EU Commission.

Brigitte Dero, VinylPlus General Manager, will update delegates on progress through the Voluntary Commitment of the European PVC industry and next steps towards future goals for PVC sustainability. ‘Global access to quality water piping’ will be discussed by Frans Alferink, Product Manager Civils at Wavin T&I followed by a panel discussion on the potential of PVC to contribute to sustainable prosperity.

Insights into how the sports industry is seeking to address its environmental impacts will be shared by Justin Zeulner, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance. Madrid’s impressive Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will host the concluding presentation on PVC’s architectural applications in sports facilities and stadia by Lars Meess-Olsohn.

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Member Highlight: NextEra’s Clean Energy Solutions for Sports and Entertainment Venues


NextEra Energy Resources (NextEra), together with its affiliated entities, is a clean-energy leader and the world’s largest operator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, as well as one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S.  In December, NextEra partnered with Green Sports Alliance to educate Alliance member organizations in California on implementing renewable energy solutions.

Stadiums and entertainment venues have significant exposure to energy costs because of both the amount and time of day that energy is used.  The timing of the energy consumed at venues often increases the expense through high demand charges from the utility, and can even reduce the cost-effectiveness of energy-saving installations like LEDs.  NextEra works with customers nationwide to identify the optimal solution to address those costs and meet sustainability goals using a variety of technologies, financing structures, local programs, and incentives.

Why should your team care about renewable energy?

  • Lower Your Energy Costs – Smarter energy strategies can help stadiums stabilize and reduce expenses. There are even opportunities to create revenue if stadiums partner with the local utility to enhance grid stability.
  • Enhance Your Brand – Sustainability is simply a matter of doing the right thing, and fans and sponsors alike want to be associated with that.  Plus, you can demonstrate your commitment to the community by bringing jobs and clean energy.
  • Build in Resiliency – At the Super Bowl in 2013, a power surge at the Superdome created a blackout, after equipment sensed an abnormality in the system from a Beyoncé halftime show with extravagant lighting and video effects. Having a backup system such as energy storage can significantly reduce the negative impacts of system issues and give your stadium a reliability edge.

NextEra considers a venue’s individual load profile, sustainability goals, and energy costs to identify and deliver a tailored solution from start to finish.  The breadth of NextEra’s expertise allows it to customize solutions to fit a customer’s unique needs, from on-site solar and energy storage, to EV charging stations, renewable energy credits and community solar gardens.  For example, NextEra’s community solar gardens allow subscribers, including a professional sports team in Minnesota, to purchase a fixed amount of solar power without having to install a system on their own property.

Read more about NextEra’s solar gardens.

Cheney Stadium – The Pride of Tacoma

Business View Magazine

2018.02.21-Cheney Stadium-IMAGE

Photo Source: Business View Magazine

Business View Magazine interviews Nick Cherniske, Director of Stadium Operations, as part of our series on minor league sports venues.

Cheney Stadium is a minor league baseball stadium located in Tacoma, Washington, a city of approximately 211,000, on the banks of Puget Sound, some 32 miles southwest of Seattle. The development of Cheney Stadium as the home of Pacific Coast League baseball in Tacoma began in 1957 as a shared idea by area businessmen Ben Cheney and Clay Huntington. Following a three-year effort by these men, the San Francisco Giants agreed, in the fall of 1959, to relocate their Triple-A club from Phoenix to Tacoma, hinged on the city’s ability to construct a new stadium in time for the beginning of the 1960 season.

Tacoma’s city council quickly approved the deal, and the project took just over three months to complete, thus earning the stadium the moniker: the “100-Day Wonder.” The speed at which the venue was built was partially due to the importation of some historical pieces from the Seals Stadium, a minor league ballpark in San Francisco, built in 1931 and demolished in 1959. “When the idea to bring baseball to Tacoma became a reality, they put six light towers on a barge, along with all the fixed seats the stadium utilized, and sent them to Tacoma,” recounts Nick Cherniske, Director of Stadium Operations. “So we had Seals Stadium seats and light towers for many years. The light towers remain and we do have a small piece of the seating bowl that actually has the same 1891 wooden seats that have been a part of baseball for over 120 years.”

Image Source: Business View Magazine

Since its inception, Cheney Stadium has hosted seven different minor league baseball teams; it has been the home of the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, since 1995, who play 70 home games there, every season. Beginning in March 2018, the Seattle Sounders FC 2 of the United Soccer League will also play their home games at Cheney, while awaiting the construction of a new stadium of their own. The stadium also hosts concerts, commencements, and corporate events. “We call them ballpark takeovers,” Cherniske quips. “Because of the weather in the northwest, especially in the winter, a lot of what you see in the offseason is focused in our suites – events and parties in our restaurant and club areas.”

After 58 years of continuous operation – Cheney Stadium is baseball’s second oldest Triple-A park – the city of Tacoma, which owns the stadium, along with its partners, the Ben Cheney Foundation and the team’s ownership committee, approved an ambitious $30 million, offseason renovation plan to include a new grandstand structure, roof, and concourse; new concession stands and seats; 16 luxury suites; a right field berm addition, a club/restaurant; a kids’ play area; and more restrooms. The Rainiers clubhouse and dugout, formerly located along the first base line, have shifted to third base, with visiting teams now residing in the fully renovated first base location. What has not changed are the views fans have grown accustomed to – the ballpark’s grandstand is still the same one constructed more than five decades ago, with the steep pitch that makes every one of its 6,500 seats in the house a great one.

“Our average capacity rate is 83.6 percent, but in the summer months of the season, June, July, and August we reach the mid 90s” reports Megan Mead, Vice President of Marketing. “In the summer, there’s no more beautiful place to be than the Pacific Northwest. People love coming out to the park; it’s a great place for families. On a clear day, we have a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier from the stadium. In the summer months, in particular, we’re selling out games, frequently.”

Mead adds that the stadium also serves as a community asset in a multitude of ways. “Tacoma is about 25 minutes south of Seattle and we have a very unique community and culture, here,” she explains. “And we have a deep connection to that community, so we make sure that we’re creating a first-class experience for everybody in the city – whether that be baseball, or, now, soccer, or the community events we support. We’ve got sports camps where we partner with local organizations that get kids out to the field. Our players visit the local children’s hospital; they do school visits. We do summer movie nights – family-friendly movies that are free and open to the public. We have a full-scale whiffle ball field that’s onsite here and open to Tacoma citizens as long as we’re not in a game. So, there’s a deep connection to the community that’s really important to us.”

Media and Communications Manager, Brett Gleason, adds that Cheney Stadium is also a good environmental citizen. “We’re a member of the Green Sports Alliance, and we have a large emphasis on stormwater prevention,” he says. “The volume of rain we get in the northwest is significant, so with pervious asphalt in our parking lots, as well as the drive coming into the stadium, we’re reducing and ideally, eliminating the amount of surface water that makes its way into the storm drains and finds its way into the Puget Sound. Also, in the 70 games that we host, we have an 8th inning recycle break, where members of the ushering staff make their way throughout the stands and ask guests to recycle with us. We take a proactive approach to collect everybody’s recyclables and make sure that they’re disposed of correctly.” Mead adds that the stadium hosts sustainability nights on Tuesdays – fans who bring in cans for recycling get discounted tickets for Tuesday night games.

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