Green is the word. With eco-friendly and sustainable sports venues becoming a marketing ploy for cities, a new report, Taking the Field: Advancing Energy and Water Efficiency in Sports Venues, released by the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Green Sports Alliance couldn’t be more timely.
The free document, report released last month, looks at ways U.S. sports venues can make an impact by reducing their energy and water use. The 60-page report considers potential water and energy reductions — such as low-flush toilets and wind energy — and highlights the financial savings some leagues and teams already are seeing from putting such efficiency initiatives into place.
“This report is a valuable resource for advancing energy and water performance across the sports industry and further making the business case for sustainability,” Justin Zeulner, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, said in a press release. “Our sports members will benefit from the continued sharing of innovative solutions that emphasize the importance of measuring and tracking energy and water use at sports venues. When we all play greener, we all win.”
This research effort didn’t always look like a winner, though. It began last August when NIBS, the Green Sports Alliance, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program asked facility operators to take a 100-question online survey. According to ConstructionDive.com, NIBS officials initially reported a low rate of return, and the survey is still open for additional input.
In addition to circulating the survey, researchers looked at existing data, conducted workshops and webinars, and interviewed representatives from across the sports industry.
More than 240 million fans visit sports venues annually, and sports teams and clubs employ nearly 60,000 people and generate $22.6 billion in annual revenues. The opportunities to improve energy and water performance of their venues, reduce operating costs and engage their communities are enormous, officials say.