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Can Talking Trash Actually Make Sports More Sustainable?

By Lew Blaustein, GreenBiz

Reduction In Motion’s Kelsey Hallowell works on waste management projects, such as one at the Baltimore Orioles' stadium.

Reduction In Motion’s Kelsey Hallowell works on waste management projects, such as one at the Baltimore Orioles’ stadium.

Kelsey Hallowell is a professional trash talker.

She plies that unusual trade for Reduction In Motion, a forward-leaning waste reduction consultancy in Baltimore. One of Kelsey’s clients is the Maryland Stadium Authority which, among other things, owns Camden Yards (home of baseball’s Orioles) and M&T Bank Stadium (home of the NFL’s Ravens).

We talked to Kelsey, whose official title is communications and outreach coordinator, about the unique aspects of working with sports venues. And talking trash.

Lew Blaustein: I love your job title. How does one get to be a professional trash talker?

Kelsey Hallowell: For me it started out as a little girl in Duxbury, Massachusetts. I was always outside playing — the joke with my family is as a toddler, my parents would set me beside them as they gardened, and I would eat handfuls of dirt.

BlausteinUh … another way of saying you have “an appreciation for the environment.”

Hallowell: Yes. Then I ended up attending Washington College, a small liberal arts school in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Blaustein: Sounds like an outdoorsy place.

Hallowell: It is. In fact, I got to be a part of the first cohort of something called the Chesapeake Semester. It was amazing. Rather than being stuck in a classroom, we went out into the environment, into the field to learn. Talked to and worked with farmers, scientists and historians for environmental causes throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Blaustein: What a great program. I can see how you would end up in the trash talking, waste reduction business.

Hallowell: Actually, I started in the recycling and waste world while at Washington College. I worked with the Center for Environment & Society (CES), which is linked with the college and Chestertown. CES focuses on social and environmental issues.

Read the full article here.

Video Release: Vestas 11th Hour Racing Leading Sustainability On and Off the Water

Vestas 11th Hour Racing

When Vestas 11th Hour Racing set off to race around the world, they also set off on a mission to be the most sustainable team to ever compete in the Volvo Ocean Race, backed by the support of their two co-title partners Vestas and 11th Hour Racing. ‘Leading Sustainability,’ the team’s summary video of their efforts to accomplish this goal, reveals what it takes to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of a professional sports team, how this shared mission brought the team together, and how they addressed sustainability in the face of adversity.

Some key sustainability accomplishments of Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race:

  • The team calculated and offset their carbon footprint of 1218 tonnes of CO2 emitted. The offset will be carried out through Seagrass Grow, a program of the Ocean Foundation. It is estimated that seagrass is up to 35x more effective than Amazonian rainforests in their carbon uptake and storage abilities. Vestas 11th Hour Racing is the first Volvo Ocean Race team to track and offset their carbon footprint.
  • Through their legacy project with 11th Hour Racing, the team awarded $120,000 in grant funding to local environmental organizations ($10,000 at each stopover) to support and raise awareness to the incredible efforts happening worldwide to restore ocean health. (See Route Map below with names of organizations.)
  • By adopting Meatless Mondays, the team reduced their carbon footprint by 2.72 tonnes and prevented the use of 671,000 liters of water. These actions not only helped the team reduce their water usage and carbon footprint, but it helped them raise awareness of this global movement. In fact, if you eat just one less burger per week, over the course of a year, it’s the same as driving 320 miles less in your car.
  • 92% of the team’s accommodations were within walking, biking, or public transport distance from the race villages. This careful planning enabled the team to reduce their reliance on cars and taxis as well as their overall carbon footprint.
  • 99,300 people visited the public Exploration Zone in the team base, learning about renewable energy, ocean science, the circular economy, and microplastic pollution. Additionally, over 550,000 people viewed the team’s sustainability-focused videos on social media
  • The team was able to achieve a 74% diversion rate (62% recycling 13% composting) meaning that only 26% of their waste went to the landfill. By comparison, according to the World Economic Forum, Germany has the highest recycling rate in the world at 56%.
  • The team removed 212 kilos of trash from beaches. Combined with the 2.1 tons of abandoned fishing gear that will be removed from the ocean by 11th Hour Racing’s grantee Healthy Seas, the team will compensate for the waste they sent to landfill, and for the rig and sails lost overboard during their dismasting in the Southern Ocean.

Read the full story

Aramark to Reduce Single-Use Disposable Plastics Across Global Operations by 2022

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), a global leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, today announced a commitment to significantly reduce single-use disposable plastics, across its global food service operations, by 2022. Single-use plastic items include straws, stirrers, bags, cutlery and various packaging materials. Aramark will implement actions across the 19 countries where it serves 2 billion meals annually in schools and workplaces, sports and leisure venues, hospitals and other locations.

Every year, more than 8 million tons of plastics are leaked into the world’s oceans. According to a recent Aramark consumer survey*, the majority (60%) of respondents are concerned with the overuse of plastic and nearly 80% are trying to reduce personal consumption by recycling and reusing plastic bottles and bags. The primary environmental concern is the impact on marine life and oceans.

“Aramark shares our guests’ passion to protect and preserve our oceans. Today’s announcement provides an opportunity to make meaningful achievements in minimizing our environmental impact, while continuing to deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives,” said Eric Foss, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “By working hand-in-hand with our customers and consumers, we can make significant progress in limiting the consumption of single-use plastics, reducing waste before it happens, and creating a healthier planet.”

Today’s announcement is part of a holistic strategy to address single-use plastics overall, starting with the most visible category of straws and stirrers, offering reusable products, encouraging consumers to join in, and looking ahead at design and innovation.

The company’s single-use plastic reduction strategy includes:

1) Phasing out use of plastic straws and stirrers, and offering eco-friendly alternatives, where possible, starting September, 2018. This will result in a 60% decrease in plastic straws by 2020, or nearly 100 million fewer straws annually in the U.S., enough to stretch halfway around the world if placed end to end.

2) Prioritizing additional categories to drive reduction of all single-use plastics, such as bags and cutlery.

3) Expanding offerings of reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, take out containers and bags.

4) Partnering with our suppliers and national brands to reduce packaging through design and innovation.

5) Educating and enabling consumers to eliminate or reduce single-use plastics.

6) Reporting on our progress and challenges to ensure transparency and continuous improvement.

Despite concern for the environment, consumers recognize that special circumstances require continued, but decreased, use of plastic straws by individuals with special needs and hospital patients. Aramark will continue to make smaller quantities available upon request, and will also offer eco-friendly alternatives, in select locations.

Aramark is aiming for plastic straw and stirrer reduction, with measurable improvement, targeting:

• 100% elimination in national parks, higher education residential dining and select business dining locations, representing hundreds of client locations.

• 30% to 60% reduction across hundreds of K-12 schools, sports venues and healthcare facilities, and nearly 60% reduction in Canadian operations.

The company is also launching a “Sip Smarter” consumer marketing campaign to raise awareness, inform consumers and drive change. The campaign is designed to complement the operational actions with messaging that will help to minimize plastic consumption. Signs will be included in operational merchandising to alert customers about the changes, where they can still find straws upon request and ways they can reduce personal consumption of single-use plastics.

Aramark’s size and reach provide an opportunity to minimize environmental impact in thousands of locations and communities, across the globe, and help conserve the health of the world’s oceans. The company joined the United Nations Environment Programme campaign #CleanSeas, to reduce single-use plastics by 2022, and partners with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, to source responsible fresh and frozen finfish and shellfish.

To learn more about Green Thread, Aramark’s commitment to environmental sustainability, visit www.aramark.com/responsibility.

Read the full press release here.

2018.07.24-Aramark Infographic-IMAGE

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