Momentum is growing in the green sports movement as folks are putting more effort into reducing waste and energy consumption at major sporting events. We are excited to see that this trend has spread to collegiate sports, as well.
Last week, we attended the fourth-annual Collegiate Sports Sustainability Summit in Bolder, Colorado, to see what colleges and universities are doing to make their campuses and sporting events greener.
The Summit was a great opportunity for professionals to exchange ideas and lessons learned about how to make every aspect of collegiate athletics more environmentally friendly. There were discussions about everything from composting food waste at sporting events, to improving the air quality in athletic facilities, to using greener building materials, and much more.
We were proud to sponsor two discussions at this event: one about achieving zero waste at sporting events, and another about reducing carbon footprints associated with athletics.
But the biggest news to come out of the summit was the release of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Greening Advisor for Collegiate Sports, a free online guide to greening collegiate athletics and recreation. This first-of-its-kind resource is a comprehensive road map college sports teams, departments and student groups can use to improve their sustainable programs and practices. Along with practical steps and advice, it also includes a wide variety of success stories an case studies.
The NRDC Greening Advisor for Collegiate Sports includes sections on how to build a sports greening program, where to start, who to involve, funding, tracking progress, and outreach strategies. It also includes technical environmental guidance relating to sports operations infrastructure such as energy, water, waste, chemicals, buildings and travel, including an anti-idling policy, which Sustainable America helped develop.