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For Colleges and Universities

Students want to help green their campus sports and demonstrate their environmental awareness -- here are some ways to green the sporting events on your campus and your teams.

On this page:

Other pages:

Green your operations -- for all stadiums and events
Measure your success

Green sports on campus

Collegiate Game Changers: NRDC Report (115 pp, 5.7 M, About PDF) Exit-- National Resource Defense Council's report documents the substantial greening initiatives taking place throughout North American colleges. The case studies in this report powerfully confirm that collegiate athletics and recreation departments are following the lead of the professional sports industry and are embracing environmental stewardship.

Natural Resources Defense Council Resources for Sustainable Athletics Exit - are tools to help professional and collegiate athletics examine everything from purchasing decisions to transportation choices, energy use and waste management policies, looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact.

Advancing Sustainability through NCAA Rivalry & AthleticsExit -- NCAA conference rivalry is furthering sustainability on campuses through healthy competition that involves a diverse population of students. Sports rivalries can motivate institutions to ramp up efforts in campus sustainability.

CURC is partnering with the Environmental Paper Network to promote the RePaper Campus Challenge Exit -- To help increase the recovery of paper across the United States, colleges and universities are invited to join on to the Challenge by pledging to increase their paper recycling rate to at least 75 percent by 2015.

Greening Sports Directory Exit-- This directory offered by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center connects you to contacts offering practical next steps and guidance on greening your sports facility’s operations under these major categories: energy efficiency, green cleaning, green purchasing, waste management, and water efficiency.

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College recognition programs

Campus RainWorks Challenge -- Each year EPA invites student teams to design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus showing how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment.

College & University Green Power Challenge-- Throughout the academic year, EPA's Green Power Partnership tracks and recognizes the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation.

Game Day Challenge Exit --colleges and universities implement waste reduction programs during home football games. Schools track and report waste reductions and disposal data that is used to rank the schools.

Food Recovery Challenge– recruits private and public entities to provide the expertise and resources necessary to reduce food loss and waste. These efforts enable participants to save money, help feed communities, and reduce the environmental burden of food production.

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Campus case studies


State College, Pennsylvania: Beaver Stadium-- Pennsylvania State University’s (Penn State) Beaver Stadium has diverted nearly 30 tons of recyclables per year from local landfills. A new initiative has helped Penn State more than triple its old recycling record, collecting 112 tons in 2008.

Sustainability Report 2010 Men's Final Four Basketball Tournament-- The local organizing committee has established a "Sustainability Committee" to conduct a variety of events, initiatives and programs to increase the environmental performance of the event. The committee is comprised of volunteers from over 20 organizations.

Sustainability Report 2011 Women’s Final Four Basketball Tournament-- This report is a summary of the sustainability activities at the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four Basketball tournament held in Indianapolis, Indiana. The local organizing committee established was composed of more than 15 organizations and conducted a variety of events, initiatives and programs to increase the environmental performance of the event.

Case studies from other sources

2013 NCAA® Men’s Final Four Sustainability Impact Report: The Road to Atlanta is Paved Green (PDF) (27 pp, 8.3 M,About PDF)Exit. A report on the sustainability initiatives for the 2013 NCAA® Men’s Final Four basketball tournament held in Atlanta, Georgia. The 75th celebration of March Madness brought more than 100,000 people to downtown Atlanta to attend a variety of games, concerts and events.

Sustainability in athletics began at Middlebury with a 2005 student classroom project. Exit Three Middlebury Lacrosse players brought their coach the idea of becoming the country’s first carbon-neutral Lacrosse team.

One Team, One Campus, One Planet: Connecting Athletics and Sustainability. Exit This is the guiding principle of Indiana Athletics. While the basketball and tennis teams each work toward success in their distinct sports, they both play for Indiana University. In the same way, the Athletics Department is a member of the IU team, so when the University sets campus-wide goals, the various departments have to work together to achieve success.

Duke Athletics upholding pledge of sustainability. Exit As part of a University-wide effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024 as stated in Duke’s climate action plan, the athletic department has taken some action to reduce its carbon footprint and spread on-campus awareness.

Students are the story of environmental awareness and sustainability at Michigan. Exit[ March 2012 news article] They exemplify our belief that a great public university continually strives to make the world a better place.

Sustainability in Gator Athletics.  Exit The University of Florida Athletic Association, Inc. (UAA) has a commitment to sustainability that extends from our operations to the culture of the Gator Nation®. There are numerous ways we are working to achieve our sustainability goals; reducing our impact on the environment, giving back to our community, and instilling the value of sustainability into what it means to be a Gator fan.

Nation's first LEED Platinum designation for collegiate stadium goes to UNT's Apogee Stadium Exit [Press Release October 20, 2011]. The United States Green Building Council has awarded the University of North Texas' Apogee Stadium a LEED Platinum Certification, making it the first newly constructed collegiate football stadium in the nation to achieve the highest level of LEED certification.

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