Commercial, Energy Efficiency - August 29, 2019
USTA ‘aces’ sustainability
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is serving up a range of sustainability initiatives from the LEED Silver-certified Louis Armstrong Stadium at the site of the U.S. Open in Queens, NY, to RECs donated by Constellation to cover all of the electricity consumed during the event.
For the carbon emissions the tennis tournament cannot reduce, the USTA is offsetting player and employee travel for Finals Weekend – equal to about 10 million miles traveled by airplane, car or subway – saving more than three tons of firewood and six tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the USTA reported.
The stadium, which opened at the 2018 U.S. Open, has been recognized for utilizing fixtures that use 40% less water than standard buildings, cutting landscape water consumption by 55%, using low-emitting paints and finishes, and for recycling 95% of construction waste. The world’s first naturally ventilated stadium with a retractable roof also has no need for air conditioning.
This year, U.S. Open partners are striving to preserve resources. Initiatives include: Wilson racquet stringers no longer using plastic bags to wrap the 5,300+ racquets strung during the event and recycling more than 35 miles of plastic racket string; Evian bottles, already recyclable and made from at least 25% recycled material, will reach 100% (excluding cap and label) by 2025; and the Polo Ralph Lauren uniforms the ball girls and boys are wearing are made from approximately 10 recycled plastic bottles, according to the USTA.
The U.S. Open is a global event,” said Lauren Tracy, director of strategic initiatives and director of the USTA’s sustainability program. “And we are committed to being a responsible global citizen. In the 12 years since we began our green initiatives in earnest, we’ve learned a lot and we commit ourselves every year to do better than the year before. We have an obligation to this event, to our global fan base, and to our global environment to make our only lasting impact one of great memories. That is our goal, and that is the focus of all of our efforts.”
Earlier this year, the USTA became one of the first major North American organizations to sign the United Nation’s Sports for Climate Action Framework, committing to drive climate awareness and promote a set of principles for the global sports community to adopt as a means of combating climate change.
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