US Open green initiative expands its efforts
FLUSHING, N.Y. — The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced a further expansion of its greening efforts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the US Open, which annually attracts more than 700,000 fans during the two weeks of the event. The US Open Green Initiative, aimed at making the US Open responsible for its ecological footprint and creating a sustainable future, has become a recognized leader in green efforts at sporting events. The USTA’s environmental program is continuously evolving and seeking innovative ways to reduce the impact the US Open has on the environment.
Since the inception of the initiative in 2008, the USTA has diverted more than 850 tons of waste through recycling and composting, saved more than 1,100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, offset enough electricity to power 600 homes for one year, recycled almost 1.5 million plastic bottles, and entertained nearly 2 million fans who have arrived via mass transit. In 2012, the US Open’s Green Initiative diverted close to 50 percent of the waste from the landfill through recycling and composting, more than any other year in the past.
In 2012, the USTA joined the Green Sports Alliance, an organization of sports teams, venues and leagues aimed at enhancing environmental evolution of professional and collegiate sports. This year, the US Open will be a part of the third annual Green Sports Alliances Summit held in New York City August 26-28 bringing together more than 500 industry stakeholders to learn from leaders at the forefront of the sports greening movement. As part of the Summit, the US Open will be hosting Summit VIPs for a behind-the-scenes tour of the US Open’s work to lessen the event’s impact on the environment.
“The USTA’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact is an important endeavor and we are continually seeking ways to enhance our greening efforts,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. ”The US Open’s comprehensive ecological program hopes to foster environmental progress and inspire fans to create a positive change.”
In collaboration with environmental consultant eco evolutions, llc as well as with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Green Sports Alliance, the USTA once again will contribute to a global effort to preserve the environment.
Green Initiatives at the 2013 US Open
New Initiatives for 2013
Last year’s waste will be put to good use. The compost made from the waste collected during the 2012 US Open will feed plants throughout the site at the 2013 US Open.
For the 2011 and 2012 US Opens, the USTA expanded its composting program to include not only the organic waste from the kitchens, but also the fan waste from the Food Village as well as the eateries located in and around Arthur Ashe Stadium. As a result of this program, the USTA collected 243 tons of waste and turned it into compost for landscape and farming uses. For 2013, the USTA expects to collect more than 180 tons of compostable waste.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will supply 605 metric tons of carbon offsets to offset the carbon emissions generated from player travel to the event as well as from the fuel consumed on-site to run the tournament.
Working in collaboration with the NRDC, the US Open has put together a :30 second public service announcement, entitled “Impact”, encouraging fans to reduce their paper, water, and energy use in order to lessen our collective impact on the environment. The PSA will be shown throughout the site and on USTA digital assets.
GDF Suez, the US Open’s energy provider, will supply Green-e certified wind renewable energy certificates to match the electricity consumed during the 2013 US Open. On June 5, 2013, World Environment Day, the US Open took part in an initial meeting held between the sustainability managers of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The goal of this meeting was to introduce each of our sustainability programs as well as exchange views and ideas. During this meeting all four sustainability managers agreed to work together to make the four major tournaments models for social responsibility. As part of future renovations at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the USTA will be incorporating green building design elements. To facilitate this process, the facility has become a member of the United States Green Building Council. Recycling & Composting The USTA will continue its fan waste recycling program with recycling and compost receptacles throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The USTA collects the tennis balls used during the matches and player practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and to donate to various community and youth organizations throughout the United States.
From the kitchens at the US Open, more than 12,000 gallons of food grease will be converted into biodiesel fuel.
More than 180 tons of food and compostable plates, utensils and napkins will be collected to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses. Transportation The USTA will continue to welcome 60 percent of its fans via mass transit. The NRDC will be supplying the USTA with enough carbon offsets to offset the estimated 2.15 million miles players travel by air as well as the 134,000 miles they travel on the ground to get to the 2013 US Open.
Paper Procurement The 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area are comprised of 100% recycled material. 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. The paper towel dispensers located throughout the site have been replaced with motion-sensor dispensers. Food & Service Ware The majority of the service ware in the US Open Food Village and in Arthur Ashe Stadium eateries is compostable and comprised of bio-based materials. The US Open will donate more than 10 tons of food to the local community. The USTA is locally sourcing more food for the Food Village, suites, stadiums and restaurants than ever before. Levy Restaurants will use locally-sourced ingredients and this year 40 percent of all produce will be sourced from the region. Area farms include Satur Farms, Eckerton Hill Farms, Latham Farms, Lynette Farms, Philips Mushroom Farms and Red Jacket Orchards. The US Open is also using locally sourced meat, seafood and poultry from Skuna Bay Salmon, Creekstone Farms, Murray’s Chicken and Gosman’s Fish Market along with sustainable Skuna Bay Salmon. Fan Awareness 2013 US Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official 2013 US Open Program. NRDC’s Eco-Tips (environmental tips) will be featured in the Daily Drawsheet as well as communicated through US Open social media channels. 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 reusable tote made from 80 percent post-consumer waste.
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