Field hockey at the international level is played on Astro turf, which requires lot of water to make the surface playable (Photo credit: L. Balachandar/SportsStar LIVE)
International field hockey made a commitment to water efficiency at the recent 46th FIH Congress in New Delhi.
Thierry Weil, the governing body’s CEO, said that while international hockey at the highest level would continue to be played on artificial turf, the federation was in talks with key manufacturers and suppliers to develop a surface that would not consume water. The current surface requires constant watering to allow a smooth game and minimize injuries.
“We are looking to achieve this by the Paris Olympics in 2024, but try and do it much earlier, develop a surface close to the quality we have right now on turf with water,” Weil told Uthra Ganesan of Sportstar LIVE. “We cannot continue to put all this water on turf when people next door may not have enough to drink.”
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.
The new environmental technology is BluEco Liquid Crystalline Turbex. This revolutionary management system helps produce pure water and clean indoor air. There is also an economic benefit to the technology because there is a reduction in energy costs.
Overall comfort is expected to improve as well. As players adjust to the new technology, there is a possibility that the overall performance could be enhanced as the ice is clearer, harder, more dense and has less impurities. Staples Center meanwhile used the BluEco Liquid Crystalline Turbex as part of a pilot project for the 2017-18 National Hockey League season.
The environmental technology is part of the Kings’ and NHL’s mandate to promote environmentalism, conservation and sustainability. The Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns one half of the Los Angeles Kings, has promoted environmental initiatives in the past, and are strong supporters of the BluEco Technology Group. The LA Galaxy, who are completely owned by AEG, won the Environmental Innovator of the Year Award at the Green Sports Alliance’s Game Changer Awards in Sacramento on June 28, 2017 for their efforts in saving water, conserving energy and reducing pollution.
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