The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has joined the Green Sports Alliance, an organization that leverages sports to promote healthy and sustainable communities.
According to their website, the Alliance achieves its success by “inspiring sports leagues, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, species preservation, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices.”
“Sports are engrained in the fabric of many of our lives, and using this existing passion to create positive change in our communities will only serve to strengthen our students, university, and surrounding population” said sustainability coordinator, Tyler Sytsma.
In recent years at UNC Charlotte, there has been a steady focus on developing facilities and practices that meet the needs of the next generation of students and educators while limiting our impact on the resources vital to the communal health of the region.
Niner fans already begun embracing the opportunity to develop a more responsible, socially conscious campus community. The Judy W. Rose Football Center incorporates Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) elements in its design, and a Zero Waste initiative is underway with plans for expansion. During home football games, at the Jerry Richardson Stadium, fans contribute to the University’s commitment to reducing waste by, increasing recycling and composting rates, and reducing energy and water consumption.
Membership with the Alliance has its benefits. With access to and support from a broad range of fellow members as well as from the Alliance and its partners, UNC Charlotte will be further equipped to develop and implement sustainable strategies.
Through membership affiliation, University sustainability officer, Mike Lizotte stated that “the University will learn about the methods that professional and collegiate teams, leagues, and venues are using to increase fan engagement.”
Lizotte adds, “Fans, by definition, are people who care deeply; the Green Sports Alliance is proving that adding sustainability to traditional sports culture is interesting to current fans, and a way to draw new fans.”
The University looks to expand its Zero-Waste initiative across more campus sports venues, such as Halton Arena.
The Green Sports Alliance includes 376 organizations, 177, teams, 184 venues, and 15 sports leagues. Other local members include Davidson College and the Charlotte Hornets/Time Warner Cable Arena.