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Baldwin Joins King as USTA Expands its Green Initiatives

FLUSHING, N.Y. — The USTA announced today an expansion of its environmental initiatives at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, which annually hosts more than 700,000 fans during the two weeks of the event. Emmy-award winning actor Alec Baldwin will join the tennis facility’s namesake, Billie Jean King, as spokespeople for the USTA’s awareness campaign to encourage US Open fans and others to help preserve the environment.

As it did in 2008, the USTA will continue to work with top environmental consultant, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), and top environmental agency, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to develop ongoing initiatives to further reduce the US Open’s carbon footprint and overall ecological impact.

Expanded 2009 initiatives will include a site-wide recycling effort placing more than 500 recycling receptacles across the 42 acres of the National Tennis Center, and an exclusive organic t-shirt designed by two-time US Open champion Venus Williams to be sold during the tournament. Additionally, there is a pilot composting program being launched in two of the on-site kitchens, and all printed materials, including the tickets and the US Open Daily Drawsheets, will be printed on paper consisting of post-consumer waste.

“The USTA remains committed to ensuring that the world’s highest annually attended event has as little environmental impact as possible without sacrificing the unique attributes that make the US Open the premier tennis event in the world,” said Lucy Garvin, President and Chairman of the Board, USTA. “These expanded initiatives will help keep the USTA, the US Open and tennis fans worldwide at the forefront of the global effort to preserve the environment.”

Green Initiatives at the 2009 US Open

Fan Awareness

Recycling

Energy Management

Transportation

Paper Procurement

US Open Merchandise

“I’m extremely proud of the work we have accomplished in the last year to green the US Open and that each year, we are improving upon and expanding the environmental initiatives,” said Billie Jean King, tennis legend and co-founder of GreenSlam. “The US Open will continue to serve as the model for other sporting events to follow as we collectively work towards a greener approach in all sports.”

In 2007, Billie Jean King founded and launched GreenSlam, an environmental initiative for the sports industry aimed at inspiring sports venues, promoters and manufacturers to make positive environmental impacts. For more information, go to greenslam.net.

“Using the grand stage of the US Open, the USTA is making a powerful statement to millions of tennis fans worldwide about the importance it places on environmental protection,” said Peter Lehner, Executive Director, NRDC. “And they are also using their influence behind the scenes by sending a strong signal to the marketplace that they want to be more sustainable - and that they want their vendors to do the same. We’re pleased to see the ripple effect this is already having throughout their supply chain.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Beijing. For more information on how to green an event or organization, go to nrdc.org.

 

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