As Atlanta prepares to host the landmark 75th NCAA Final Four, the city and the NCAA are implementing initiatives aimed at operating the most sustainable championship in the seven-decade history of the tournament. For the first time in NCAA history, the same city will also host the Division II and Division III national championship games at Philips Arena, allowing the green initiatives to impact an even broader segment of the population.
The NCAA has worked on reducing its carbon footprint at the Final Four by utilizing hybrid automobiles for its courtesy fleet of vehicles, and has purchased renewable energy credits to offset the energy use at Philips Arena. In addition they have partnered with Atlanta public-transit agency MARTA to push for greater use of the system by fans to travel to and from the arena, as well as supporting bicycle travel to events with free bike valet services.
An extensive recycling program has been instituted throughout all 2013 Final Four events in the city, and the NCAA has also organized a drive to collect e-waste throughout the community. Banners and court surfaces have been designed expressly for reuse or recycling, and post-consumer products have been emphasized in materials procurement.
The association is also giving back to the community with tree-planting days and clothing donation drives among their volunteer staff. The NCAA has also offered support to extend the green initiatives to area hotels and restaurants involved with the crowds in town for Final Four events.