By Carla Davis, NC State University Sustainability
For three days in June, rivals on the athletic field became collaborators for sustainability.
Sustainability and athletics representatives from Atlantic Coast Conference member schools met in Raleigh June 2-4 for the inaugural ACC Sports Sustainability Conference.
Hosted by NC State, the conference was the first gathering focused on sports sustainability in the ACC.
“[Sustainability] is really important on all of your campuses and here at NC State. Sharing best practices, ideas and how we can all benefit from each other – that’s what this conference means to me,” said NC State Athletics Director Boo Corrigan during the conference’s welcome session.
The conference kicked off with best practices for sustainable athletics operations. This included waste management at athletic events and guidelines for purchasing sustainable products. Participants also shared ideas for reducing pollution, energy use and water use in facilities.
Beyond operations, attendees explored how to engage sports fans and student-athletes in sustainability. The conference also offered networking opportunities, sustainable product demonstrations and athletic facility tours.
The event culminated with participants brainstorming collective next steps for ACC sustainability initiatives.
“The end of the conference marks the beginning of a larger, collaborative effort to boost sustainability in ACC sports,” said NC State interim Sustainability Director Lindsay Batchelor, who helped organize the conference.
Hosted by NC State in partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Green Sports Alliance, the conference was sponsored by Coca-Cola, Greenworks Commercial and Green for Life Environmental.