The Pac-12 is the first NCAA Power 5 Conference to join the Green Sports Alliance and they continue to experience significant success on and off the field. The 2015 Pac-12 Football Media Days took place July 30-31 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. Commissioner Larry Scott’s had the following to say in his address:
“My future outlook for college football is very optimistic on a national level, and certainly within the Pac-12. College football has never been stronger or more popular. Last year’s College Football Playoff was a resounding success, and brought even more attention to the sport we love… Last year also saw a high point for the Pac-12 on the field. Our depth across both divisions saw ESPN calling this the best football conference in the country.”
Their success carries over to all of the Pac-12 schools’ sustainability efforts as well. Sports greening initiatives at each school are helping to reduce emissions of global warming pollution, protect habitat, save energy and water, reach millions of fans with environmental messages, and train future business leaders in environmental stewardship.
Here are a few highlights from some of the Pac-12 schools:
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA WILDCATS (AASHE STARS Gold):
The UA athletics department boasts on-site solar at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center and LEED certification for their Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. In 2010, the University of Arizona also built the first university recreation center in the U.S. to be awarded LEED Platinum certification, which uses solar energy for both heating the pool and cooling the building’s chiller systems.
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON DUCKS (AASHE STARS Reporter): The Ducks have hosted some of the greenest sports events in the nation, winning the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Environment Award for North America. UO is also home to the LEED Gold certified Matthew Knight Arena.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES BRUINS (AASHE STARS Silver Renewing): The UCLA Spieker Aquatic Center, an outdoor 50-meter swimming pool and diving complex, received LEED Gold status in 2012. The UCLA’s renovation of 13,000 square feet of existing space on campus into the Kinross Recreation Center is also expected to receive LEED Gold certification.
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH UTES (AASHE STARS Bronze Renewing): The Utes new football and basketball training centers are designed to be at least LEED Silver certified. The first phase of energy efficient LED lighting upgrades to The Huntsman Center and indoor football practice field is also complete. In 2013, Utah Athletics started including public transportation fare for all ticketed events, encouraging fans to travel by light rail and bus. Student volunteers also make “Recycle Rice Eccles” and game day bicycle valets two of the most successful campaigns on campus
The Pac-12 is celebrating 100 years as the “Conference of Champions” this season and we hope to see their continued success and sustainability efforts for 100 more.