Green Sports Alliance
The Green Sports Alliance was honored to participate in several sessions at the recent AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo, themed “Transforming Sustainability Education,” in Minneapolis, MN.
Per AASHE’s website, the 2015 Conference & Expo was designed to “convene a diverse group of campus representatives – including faculty, students, sustainability officers, staff, administrators and presidents together with business, non-profit, government and community members – to celebrate and inspire sustainability solutions and innovations.”
The Green Sports Alliance works with nearly 40 colleges, universities, and collegiate athletic conferences across the country—and that number is rising quickly. As a testament to the growing interest from sustainability officers in greening Athletics and Recreation programs at their respective institutions, the Green Sports Alliance participated in three different sessions at AASHE for the first time:
The PAC 12 Road to Zero Waste Competition – Panel discussion highlighting the ‘Road to Zero Waste Challenge’, an unprecedented (friendly) competition between all twelve Pac-12 universities, organized by the GSA, to achieve the highest landfill waste diversion rate at a men’s or women’s basketball game in Spring 2015. The University of California, Berkeley won the inaugural competition with a sparkling diversion rate of 95.7%. Halli Bovia of USC moderated, and I was joined on the panel by Lin King and Katherine Walsh of UC Berkeley.
Greening Collegiate Sports: Facility Tour and Networking Event – A tour highlighting the sustainability profile of GSA Member University of Minnesota’s LEED Silver-Certified TCF Bank Stadium, which opened in 2009 and was the first collegiate or professional football stadium in the country to achieve LEED certification. The tour was followed by a networking reception and a panel discussion moderated by me and featuring several UM reps and Dave Newport of CU-Boulder.
Green Sports Alliance Networking Lunch – A lunchtime gathering that featured discussions of new and innovative sports sustainability efforts, opportunities for campuses to develop sponsorships of their sports greening efforts, and opportunities for campus sustainability and sports greening advocates to link and leverage their efforts.
These lively and well-attended sessions provided a wonderful opportunity to share some of the outstanding work taking place at GSA member campuses around the U.S., and provided sufficient inspiration for several new colleges and universities to join the Green Sports Alliance.
I applaud AASHE for putting on a top-notch event, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to shine a light on Collegiate Athletics’ role in advancing institutional sustainability goals as well as the broader green sports movement. I look forward to the Green Sports Alliance and our collegiate members having an even more prominent role in Baltimore next year!