Billie Jean King launches GreenSlam
NEW YORK — Sports legend and social activist Billie Jean King is launching GreenSlam, an eco-conscious initiative to harness the power of sports, beginning with tennis, to create socially responsible change with positive environmental impact. One year after the home of the US Open was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, King announced plans for GreenSlam, saying, “I’m challenging myself ” the industry of sports, professional athletes and fans, to take positive action to help counter the negative effects of climate change. “It’s simple, if the billions of people who live and love sports take just one single step, we can help win back our planet.”
As an initial action, King’s GreenSlam has teamed with Adopt-A-Highway to support the maintenance of a section of the Whitestone Expressway near the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. GreenSlam intends to implement similar efforts around other sport complexes in the coming months. Other programs planned by GreenSlam include: Formation of an independent counsel of „greening experts‰ to establish a set of GreenSlam standards to share with venues, event promoters, sporting goods manufacturers and related athletic organizations; Raise funding and awareness for ecologically supportive athletic events, programs and related charities on a global basis; Support “green collar” work/study opportunities; Help clean-up roadways around major U.S. sporting venues. Already, key leaders in the sports community pledged their support of King‚s new initiative. GreenSlam sponsors include the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), Prince Sports and FirmGreen Energy (FGE).
World TeamTennis (WTT), which King co-founded, launched its first green initiative in 2007 with partner FirmGreen Energy. FGE donated renewable energy credits (RECs) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission offsets to help WTT reduce its carbon footprint at the WTT Finals, the WTT Rec League Finals and at venues for the Newport Beach Breakers and the Sacramento Capitols. „Ultimately, we hope to establish a Green Dream Team comprised of various global companies and launch an eco-friendly line of sporting goods equipment, apparel, shoes and accessories under the GreenSlam seal of approval,” King added. “Several sports leagues, including Major League Baseball and the National Football League, are already taking steps to establish green programs and we hope to bring that same effort to tennis and other sports through GreenSlam.‰ GreenSlam was co-founded by King, WTT CEO and Commissioner Ilana Kloss, Pam Derderian and Nancy Becker. Derderian and Becker, principal partners of 15 Minutes,Inc., will manage the organization. For more information visit: www.GreenSlam.net
Comments from Prince Sports: “This is a vital initiative and one we’re going to make a meaningful commitment to,” said George Napier, CEO of Prince Sports, Inc. Billie Jean is a proven catalyst for change. We are honored to partner with her and her team and are extremely optimistic about the changes that we can create together. As an industry leader in performance tennis equipment, we are challenging ourselves and our industry partners to elevate our commitment and involvement in the manufacturing, packaging, distribution and administration practices. There is a lot of work to be done and we are dedicated to help do it.”
Comments from Tennis Industry Association (TIA): “The TIA is very pleased to support this worthwhile effort,‰ comments Jolyn de Boer, Executive Director. While many of our manufacturers and businesses are already eco-conscious and taking measures to protect the environment, we recognize the tremendous benefit of teaming with Billie Jean King‚s Green Slam initiative to bring greater awareness and organization of these efforts.‰ About FirmGreen: FirmGreen˙ uses its patented technology to produce alternative fuels and green energy for communities from local renewable sources such as landfills. The company also assists corporations, events and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint on a cost effective basis.
For more information about FGE, visit www.firmgreen.com.
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