Game Changer: How the sports industry is saving the environment banner

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Natural Resources Defense Council

September 3, 2012

Game Changer: How the sports industry is saving the environment

The professional sports industry includes some of the world’s most iconic, inspirational and influential organizations. In a cultural shift of historic proportions, the sports industry is now using its influence to advance ecological stewardship. North America’s professional leagues, teams and venues have collectively saved millions of dollars by shifting to more efficient, healthy and ecologically intelligent operations. At the same time, the sports greening movement has brought important environmental messages to millions of fans worldwide. Sport is a great unifier, transcending political, cultural, religious and socioeconomic barriers. It also wields a uniquely powerful influence, both cultural and economic, that provides much-needed leadership in sustainable practices and, in so doing, promotes a nonpolitical public commitment to environmental protection.

This report provides a collection of never-before-assembled case studies of the sports industry’s most prominent and successful greening initiatives from across North America. In compiling this information, our goal is to celebrate the sports industry’s growing embrace of environmental stewardship as more and more sports leagues, teams and venues invest in energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, renewable energy, safer chemicals and fan engagement focused on remedying some of our most pressing environmental problems. A principal objective of this report is to educate sports professionals, their supply chains and millions of fans about the business case for greening, from achieving cost savings and enhancing brands to developing new sponsorship opportunities and strengthening community ties.The sports greening success stories featured in this report provide valuable lessons for organizations of all types, whether they are involved with the sports industry or not, highlighting what teams, venues and league jewel events are doing to protect our planet and educate their fans. Each of the team and venue case studies includes four sections that help explain the greening process: (1) Why go green: what motivated teams and venues to start greening? (2) Where to start: how did teams and venues begin, who was involved, and which greening initiatives were investigated first?  (3) Challenges overcome and ongoing: challenges teams  and venues faced, tactics they used to meet these challenges, and hurdles they still face; and (4) Lessons from the field: important lessons from team and venue experiences as they implemented their green initiatives.

To continue reading the full report, click HERE

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