The sustainable sports movement is undoubtedly growing – no more so than in the US where several instances of leadership can be found. It was the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles that became the first professional sports team to achieve the ISO 20121 sustainable event management certification. In 2014, the NHL was the first professional sports league to publish a report specifically focused on sustainability (with a subsequent report unveiled last year).
Venue-wise, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team and Atlanta United of the MLS, and the Golden 1 Center, occupied by the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, can claim to be the most sustainable sports venues of their type in the world.
And whenever there is an announcement about an MLS expansion club, NFL franchise or NBA team building a new stadium or arena, it’s almost a given now that the facility will achieve some level of LEED certification (the US Green Building Council’s system for rating buildings on their environmental credentials.).
At the heart of this is the Green Sports Alliance, an organisation of more than 400 members, including teams, leagues and venues, that come together to share good practice and to collaborate with the mission of making the sports sector in the US a more sustainable and responsible industry. Following the departure of former executive director Justin Zeulner last year, Roger McClendon will lead the organisation through its next stage of evolution.