The UMass Lowell athletic department and the Office of Sustainability announced a joint partnership with the Green Sports Alliance on Thursday morning. The announcement was made in conjunction with the implementation of many green initiatives throughout the athletic department and its facilities over the past several years.
The partnership is piece of the university’s 2050 Climate Action Plan, which was announced in January 2012.
The GSA was conceived and founded by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council and was launched in 2011. It is an environmentally-focused trade organization that convenes stakeholders from around the sporting world to promote healthy, sustainable communities. Members include nearly 600 organizations, spanning professional sports leagues, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues and fans representing 15 leagues in 14 countries.
“The opportunity to partner with Green Sports Alliance provides UMass Lowell Athletics with a great network that will allow us to enhance our sustainability efforts on regional and national levels,” said UMass Lowell Director of Athletics Peter Casey. “River Hawk Nation understands its duty of protecting the environment and stepping up our green game. With the help of our university partners, one of our goals is to educate and motivate our sports fans in taking their own actions in helping protect the environment.”
The GSA is committed to creating awareness and dedicated to creating meaningful change towards a more sustainable future. It shares resources, experience, and expertise to raise awareness of what’s environmentally possible in sports, business, and society while mobilizing sports organizations, communities, athletes, and fans to create sustainable progress and behavior change.
“The Green Sports Alliance is honored to have UMass Lowell’s exemplary leadership join our members and partners spanning across the sports greening movement,” said Roger McClendon, the Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance. “The university has demonstrated its continued commitment towards improving our communities in a sustainable manner, and we are looking forward to working alongside the River Hawks through this relationship.”
As part of the campus partnership with Aramark, the university and Spectra installed the first Grind2Energy system on a college campus in the Northeast at the Tsongas Center in the fall of 2018. Grind2Energy is a clean and reliable solution for commercial food waste. With G2E, food waste recovery is built right into daily operations and kitchen infrastructure. G2E ensures that the campus’ uneaten food will be used to make renewable energy and replenish agricultural soils. For years, UMass Lowell has done the right thing, separating its food waste in carts and sending it to composters, but Grind2Energy has eliminated these logistical challenges while also delivering a great sustainability story.
UMass Lowell will host Sustainability Night at the hockey game against Colgate University on Homecoming Weekend on Friday, Oct. 18th at the Tsongas Center. Their will 25 resource ambassadors on hand to make sure cups and bottles are being appropriately collected and recycled throughout the contest.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is collaborating with the University through the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP). The River Hawks will have use of an electric car throughout the year to bring student-athletes to medical appointments and use for travel to university related conferences/meetings.
The department also received a grant recently for two electric vehicle charging station in Lot B in the Tsongas Center parking lot.
The Tsongas Center also recently installed high efficiency LED lighting for the playing surface and concourse areas. For the last several years, athletics added updated branded trash and recycling units. These units are made from recycled milk jugs and with 100% renewable power.
“This exciting partnership is another step forward for UMass Lowell’s sustainability program,” stated UMass Lowell Director of Sustainability Ruairi O’Mahony. “The athletic department has already completed so many positive steps including solar panels atop Costello gym, fan tailored recycling programs, and the first Grind2Energy food waste program in the northeast. The partnership builds upon Chancellor Moloney’s vision for sustainability excellence through strategic partnerships and is sure to enhance our current position as the number one ranked AASHE STARS school for sustainability in Massachusetts.”
The River Hawks are the 10th NCAA Div. I school to partner with the GSA and are the first athletic program in America East and in the Northeast region to formalize a partnership with the GSA.
The Green Sports Alliance leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities where people live and play. The Alliance inspires professional sports leagues, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices. Alliance members now number over nearly 400 organizations and fans representing 17 leagues in 16 countries. Visit greensportsalliance.org for more information.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP
“Aramark has always been an engaged partner with UMass Lowell’s sustainability efforts. Whether through local sourcing, waste reduction, composting or improving operational efficiencies, our team has worked hand in hand with UMass Lowell to create a greener campus. We look forward to how the Green Sports Alliance partnership will further our environmental strides on campus. GSA already has strong relationships with Aramark at many major-league sports arenas, and we are excited to utilize their knowledge and successes to further improve the green initiatives on campus.” ARAMARK DISTRICT MANAGER BRUCE PERRY
“Spectra is excited to be a partner with UMass Lowell and River Hawk Nation in their efforts to find new and innovative ways to achieve sustainability here at the Tsongas Center. Finding ways to have a positive effect on our campus, environment and our community is something that has been important to us here in Lowell and at many of the venues we are associated with around the country. We look forward to realizing the benefits of what we have been able to accomplish and the continued efforts to find other ways to make an impact.” TSONGAS CENTER GENERAL MANAGER KEITH VASKE (SPECTRA VENUE MANAGEMENT)