Sports Teams Embrace Sustainability

by | Feb 4, 2010

arenaEighty percent of North American professional sports teams plan to increase their environmental sustainability programs, according to a survey of more than 50 pro teams by ProGreenSports. The survey also finds that about half the teams have developed or are considering developing a sustainability plan with short-and long-term goals.

The survey, “2009 ProGreenSports Sustainability Survey,” also finds that more than 90 percent of professional sports teams indicate that their executive management has a positive perspective on developing a green business strategy and nearly 60 percent have formed an internal “green team.”

Other key findings show that more than 70 percent of team executives say that implementing an effective green strategy will increase brand loyalty, and team executives are six times more likely to expect their green program to increase profit rather than decrease profit.

Here are a few examples of how sports teams and arenas are moving into a sustainable world over the past year.

— The Rose Garden, home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, has implemented a range of efficiency improvements, saving 771,000 kilowatt hours annually.

— The Philips Arena and the American Airlines Arena meet the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

— Fan cans promote recycling at sporting events, which started at the Washington Nationals sports complex in April last year.

— The Verizon Center entertainment and sports arena implemented an energy conservation solution that is expected to cut its energy bills by thousands of dollars per month.

Click here to find out how the NFL is greening Super Bowl XLIV.

Similarly, the green trend is spreading to sporting events in Canada. As an example, the Alberta World Cup 2010 cross-country event will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy — primarily wind and hydro — from Bullfrog Power, reports North American Wind Power.

The sports event has also pledged a zero waste initiative that includes the recycling of all wires used for television cabling and the use of recycled paper for printing of marketing materials, according to the article.

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