USTA expands green initiatives
FLUSHING, N.Y. — The USTA announced today a further 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. Alec Baldwin and Billie Jean King will continue to serve as the US Open’s Green Initiatives spokespersons in a comprehensive awareness campaign to promote environmental consciousness among fans. The US Open has been in the forefront for green initiatives at sporting events and in encouraging fans to help preserve the environment. For 2011, the USTA has launched a pilot program in which it will be introducing service ware in the US Open Food Village that is 100 percent compostable.
The US Open Green Initiative began as a pilot program in 2008 and has expanded each subsequent year, all with the goal of making the US Open an environmentally responsible and eco-friendly event. In partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), environmental consultant, eco evolutions, llc, and GreenSlam, a group of leading environmental organizations, the USTA will once again be working toward reducing the impact that the US Open has on the environment.
Since its inception, the US Open’s Green Initiatives have incrementally increased the amount of materials being recycled, composted, and the number of hybrid vehicles transporting players and VIPs (see attached statistics). The US Open has developed a comprehensive, eco-friendly program to positively influence the environmental awareness of players and fans, as well as developing effective ways to preserve the environment.
“The commitment and expansion of the US Open Green Initiatives will ensure that the world’s highest annually-attended event is the most environmentally conscious,” said Jon Vegosen, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA, and Chairman of the US Open. “These environmental endeavors over the past three years have kept the USTA, the US Open and tennis fans in the forefront of the global effort to preserve the environment.”
Green Initiatives at the 2011 US Open
- The USTA will conduct a consumer waste recycling program to recycle 100 percent of plastics and cans used during the 2011 US Open throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
- The USTA collects the 70,000 tennis balls used during the matches and player’s practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and donate to various community and youth organizations throughout the United States. The Wilson tennis ball cans are made from a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled PET and are 100% recyclable.
- From the kitchens at the US Open, 985 gallons of food grease will be converted into biodiesel fuel and 20,000 pounds of food will be donated to the community.
- At least 50 tons of food waste will be collected to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses.
- Hybrid vehicles will make up 60 percent of the Mercedes-Benz player and VIP transportation fleet.
- To encourage fans who attend the US Open to utilize mass transit, Esurance, the car insurance company, will award 125 fans a $4.50 MetroCard each day during the two-week event.
- The 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area will be composed of 90 percent post-consumer waste.
- All US Open-related printed materials (US Open media guide, marketing collateral, tickets and the Daily Drawsheet, among others) will be composed of at least 30 percent post-consumer waste.
- US Open tickets are printed on paper comprised of 30 percent post-consumer waste, and parking books, parking visors and coupon books are printed on paper comprised of 10 - 15 percent post-consumer waste.
- 100 percent of paper towel dispensers have been replaced with motion-sensor dispensers and all paper towels are comprised of 40 percent post-consumer waste.
- GDF Suez, the US Open’s energy provider, will supply Green-e Certified wind Renewable Energy Certificates to match the electricity consumption during the 2011 US Open.
- IBM, which powers USOpen.org, will continue to utilize six servers, down from 60 in 2008. Their energy consumption has been reduced by 40 percent and their cooling demand reduced by 48 percent.
Food & Service Ware
- All service ware in the US Open Food Village is 100 percent compostable.
- Utensils, plates, cups, etc. are comprised of bio-based materials.
- Stoneyfield Café located in the US Open Food Village, will feature a grab-and-go dining option serving healthy food—fast. Options are all-natural and/or organic and locally grown.
- Alec Baldwin and Billie Jean King will again serve as spokespeople for the Green Initiatives awareness campaign to promote environmental consciousness among US Open fans, players, vendors, partners and sponsors.
- 2011 US Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official 2011 US Open program.
- NRDC’s Simple Steps (environmental tips) will be featured in the Daily Drawsheet.
US Open Merchandise
- At the US Open Collection merchandise locations, fans will receive with their purchase a US Open souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple-use with a “Recycle and Reuse” message printed on the bottom.
- The US Open Collection will feature for sale a cinch backpack made from recycled plastic bottles as well as a reusable tote made from 80 percent post-consumer waste, notepads printed on recycled paper, and journals and notecard cases constructed from 100 percent recycled paperboard and 100 percent recycled post-consumer and post-industrial paper product.
- A $10,000 donation from US Open merchandise proceeds will go to Unisphere, Inc., a non-profit organization that maintains and preserves Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
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