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All posts tagged sustainability

The Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena have been named the first-ever Environmental Innovators of the Year in the NBA category by the Green Sports Alliance (GSA), recognised for excellence in advancing the sport green movement through their ongoing implementation of sustainability elements in their venue.

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Rio’s ambitions to stage the world’s “best value” Olympics hinge, in part, on applying many of the legacy planning strategies of the London 2012 Games. With just two months to go until the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Rio is “on the cusp” of reaping the same legacy benefits enjoyed by London, according to AECOM, the company behind both cities’ Olympic masterplans.

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Frank E. Celli, CEO of BioHiTech Global, gives us an exclusive insight into how Fan Engagement can boost a sports venues’ Waste Diversion goals.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly one-third of all food produced for human consumption, about 1.3 billion tons, is lost or wasted each year, enough food to fill as many as 730 stadiums. The gravity of this waste occurrence has spurred a movement to reduce and divert food waste across the globe.

In the summer of 2014 the European Union issued measures to ban the landfilling of organics by 2025 and additionally will start requesting that 7,000 of their largest public companies report on environmental matters beginning in 2017. Just this past September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to announce a nationwide goal to reduce U.S. food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

Stadiums Need To Participate

Because stadiums around the world draw millions of spectators each year, only a number of them are meeting the challenge of implementing waste minimisation strategies or revamping their material management and sustainability programs to help address and solve this issue.

At no fault of their own, some stadiums often look to the easiest solution without considering the environmental implications. They blindly rely on their hauler to make the largest component of their waste, food waste, just disappear. There are others, however, that are using an innovative way to reduce, divert, and dispose of the food waste at the point of generation aligning their goals with that of the worlds.

Onsite aerobic digestion is the process in which a machine uses oxygen, water, agitation and microorganisms to breakdown food waste into a liquid effluent that can be safely discharged to the sewer system. This process is far more effective and environmentally friendly in the war on diversion from landfill than hauls to distant compost or AD facilities.

But it is important to draw focus to the FDA’s food waste hierarchy that suggests the best way to dispose of food waste is to produce less of it in the first place. In this “source reduction” phase, the idea would be to use a tool that quantifies what is being wasted in order to adjust what is purchased, prepared and consumed so that tomorrow less is wasted and less is disposed of.

The Eco-Safe Digester is two solutions in one

In order to acquire this level of detailed data in a multi-food venue operation, a stadium would need a smart technology solution that collects and reports this kind of data.

While its main objective is to sit quietly in the back of the house, BioHiTech’s Eco-Safe Digester continuously digests food waste throughout the day eliminating the need to drag bagged heavy wet waste to the compactor. It then measures each increment of waste during the digestion process and sends the detailed data to a cloud platform.

Stadium managers and owners have immediate access to the waste information to track and monitor the origin of the waste to make the necessary adjustments affecting sourcing, handling and ultimately prevention while dining services workers use the digester in a manner that makes them more efficient in the management of the material.

This sustainable approach consequently saves them thousands of dollars per game while reducing landfill waste.

BioHitech America's Eco-Safe Digesters 800, 1200, 1800 This image is protected by US Copyright Law and is licensed for public relations use only. To purchase further usage rights please contact Joseph A. Sorrentino at 973-662-1582 or

BioHitech America’s Eco-Safe Digesters 800, 1200, 1800
This image is protected by US Copyright Law and is licensed for public relations use only. To purchase further usage rights please contact Joseph A. Sorrentino at 973-662-1582 or

BioHitech America's Eco-Safe Digesters 800, 1200, 1800 This image is protected by US Copyright Law and is licensed for public relations use only. To purchase further usage rights please contact Joseph A. Sorrentino at 973-662-1582 or

BioHitech America’s Eco-Safe Digesters 800, 1200, 1800
This image is protected by US Copyright Law and is licensed for public relations use only. To purchase further usage rights please contact Joseph A. Sorrentino at 973-662-1582 or

Motivating fans is the key to success

One of the most important aspects of an effective sustainability and waste management program is communication. BioHiTech’s smart management tool can communicate a stadium’s sustainability and waste management progress throughout each game to foster fan engagement and boost participation of diversion goals.

Food waste diversion results, as well as the environmental impact, can be communicated to the fans through the use of digital in-stadium billboards, by incorporating athletes into the stadium’s environmental campaign, and tying give-aways to participation. All communication methods will help stadiums of all sizes achieve a sustainable outcome.

Stadiums incorporating this unique customer-facing food waste diversion technology can expect increased efficiencies and cost savings while offering a sustainable guest experience.




HOK announces partnership with Green Sports Alliance

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HOK – a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm – has entered into a partnership with the Green Sports Alliance (GSA) – an international nonprofit that advises professional and collegiate leagues, teams and venue operators about environmental stewardship.

Scott Jenkins, AMB Sports & Entertainment Group Stadium General Manager and Chair of the Green Sports Alliance, said:

Since its inception in 2010, the Green Sports Alliance has focused on improving the environmental performance of sports organisations and venues. HOK’s expertise and commitment to designing sustainable venues offer tremendous value to our members and to the entire sports industry.

Under the partnership’s terms, HOK will offer GSA members enhanced access to information about strategies for sustainable venue design, operations and technologies. HOK will also help shape future GSA membership programs and partnerships. The firm is currently collaborating with the GSA to develop a report outlining the future of sports facility design.

Chris DeVolder, Sustainable Design Leader for HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice, said:

The Green Sports Alliance shares our goals for bringing sustainability to the sports industry. This innovative partnership will also support our firm’s commitment to the 2030 Challenge, an initiative seeking carbon neutrality in all new buildings, developments and major renovations by 2030.

DeVolder added:

Sports offer a uniquely powerful platform for talking about sustainability. The Green Sports Alliance is helping organisations understand how upfront investments in sustainability initiatives can generate long-term savings.

DeVolder moderated a plenary session at the fifth annual Green Sports Alliance Summit, which took place in Chicago on June 30, titled ‘Beyond the Building: How Sports Facilities Contribute to Sustainable Communities and Urban Vitalisation’.

About the Green Sports Alliance

The Green Sports Alliance leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities. The nonprofit works to inspire sports leagues, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy conservation, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, species preservation, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices. Alliance members represent nearly 300 sports teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues and 14 countries. For more information, visit:

About HOK

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm celebrating 60 years of design and innovation in 2015. Through a network of 25 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence has ranked HOK as a leader in sustainable and high-performance design for five consecutive years and recently named the practice the #1 most-admired firm for leadership in technology innovation. For further information, visit:


HOK’s Director of Sports + Recreation + Entertainment, John Rhodes, is one of the panellists joining the roundtable session discussing ‘The cultural specificity of stadia: Creative approaches to sports venue design that best serve a city’s way of experiencing sport’ at our Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 conference and exhibition, and the firm’s Chris Lamberth, Director of Global Sport Development, will be giving a presentation on ‘Design trends and innovations in North American stadia’. For further information on the event or to register as a delegate, go to:

Sustainability hits a six at the MCG

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Energy efficiency upgrades will confirm the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s (MCG) standing as one of the most environmentally sustainable stadia in the world – and save enough electricity to power the light towers for nearly six years.

The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), working in tandem with Siemens, is close to finishing a project at the iconic sports ground that will deliver a host of significant environmental savings.

Once completed, the program of works, which commenced in May, will result in the MCG generating enough energy savings annually to power 835 houses.

Siemens ambassador, Cadel Evans, took time from his busy schedule since returning home to enjoy a first-hand tour of the facility and the upgrades. The sustainability advocate also jumped at the opportunity to ride his bicycle around the perimeter of the famous ground. The 2011 Tour de France winner commented:

As a long-time advocate of the environment, it’s really heartening to see the MCG – Australia’s spiritual home of sport – take such a significant step. As an athlete I welcome the chance to play a role in creating awareness around environmental and sustainability issues. The work the MCC and Siemens have undertaken has enhanced the MCG’s reputation not only as a sporting showcase but also as a beacon for energy and environmental efficiency.

While the MCC has invested more than AUS$8m in the project, expected savings from the reduced energy consumption over the next 5-10 years will offset the cost.

Examples of the work involved include:
•    Replacing the existing lighting systems with low-energy lighting technologies.
•    Installing a new building management system.
•    Implementing changes to heating and ventilation systems.
•    Installing new chilled water systems and modernised room control systems.

Roland Busch, member of the Siemens AG Managing Board and responsible for Asia/Australia, took time to see first-hand the upgrades at Australia’s favourite sporting stadium as part of his visit to Australia. He noted:

I have been fortunate enough to visit some of the great sporting stadia around the world. It’s clear to me now that the MCG truly ranks as one of the greatest arenas on the planet. The MCG is part of the heart and soul of Melbourne and Siemens is proud to be involved in the environmental upgrade that has ensured the sustainable future of such a wonderful sporting arena.

MCC CEO, Stephen Gough, said the Club took the issue of sustainability very seriously, as he outlined:

This commitment follows other recent MCC environmental initiatives, including the Yarra Park restoration project and water recycling facility, which has seen the MCG save more than 240 million litres of water since it was implemented two years ago.  The savings that this project delivers means it will pay for itself. It truly represents the ultimate in sustainable efficiency. It was terrific to work with Siemens’ engineers to ensure the MCG remains a world-class and environmentally responsible stadium.

The project benefits include:
•    Utility costs cut by 20 per cent
•    Water use cut by 5 per cent
•    CO2 equivalent carbon emissions cut 19 per cent

Energy saved each year by the upgrades will:
•    Power 835 houses for a year
•    Run the MCG light towers for 5.75 years

C02 saved each year by the upgrades would:
•    Fill 127 million black balloons
•    Fill the MCG 10.92 times


From left to right: Cadel Evans (Siemens Australia Ambassador), Stephen Gough (MCC CEO), Dr Roland Busch (Siemens Global Board Member) and Jeff Connolly (Siemens Australia CEO).


Peoria Sports Complex renovation achieves LEED Gold

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Peoria Sports Complex’s recent renovations, designed by Populous with DFDG, have achieved LEED Gold Certification.

The renovations to the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres Clubhouses were designed to enhance the experience for athletes, while creating a sustainable and efficient facility.

The newly expanded facilities include patio space, hydrotherapy, a new weight training centre in each clubhouse and enhanced locker room, training and dining facilities.

Sustainability played an integral role in the design process and the completed clubhouses will save more than 320,000 gallons of water and 1,126,000 kWh of electricity per year. In addition, 36% of building materials were recycled and the design process made use of locally sourced materials and Low VOC paints and sealants.

With the integration of sustainable cleaning practices, the facility has achieved LEED Gold Certification.

peoria_2 peoria_4 peoria_3

NHL unveils the world’s first sustainability report compiled by a professional sports organisation

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The NHL’s 2014 Sustainability Report is the first of its kind for the League and indeed for professional sports organisations on a global scale. It addresses head-on the connection between hockey and the environment, and the impact the NHL has on the planet.


As reported on, it is in everyone’s “best interest to confront this challenge, to be transparent with our impacts and to discuss and explore with all of our stakeholders a strategy for long-term environmental sustainability”.


The League’s NHL Green initiative started in earnest in 2010 with the assistance of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, the NRDC’s leading champion for sustainability in sports. Working together with their 30 Member Clubs, some of which already had robust environmental initiatives prior to 2010, the NHL embarked on a journey toward greater sustainability.


In this report, the League puts forth their first carbon inventory, which details the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the many facets of NHL operations, including energy and water use, waste and travel. It acknowledges that NHL hockey games are energy intensive and also that the geographic locations of their Clubs require a substantial amount of travel over the course of a season. Like the other professional sports, these business operations affect the air we breathe and our supplies of clean, fresh water. The NHL is determined to address these environmental challenges without sacrificing the integrity of the game.


While the League has made some progress to date, they do concede there is still much to do. The NHL’s plan for the years ahead is to capture additional data and information related to the impacts of their business and to create meaningful goals to reduce those impacts. They also state it is their objective to raise the level of environmental-consciousness among fans of NHL and their arena operators, and also encourage improvements within their Clubs’ buildings, operations, employees, partners, vendors, fans and communities.


The full report can be found online at:

A bright green future for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia

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With the excitement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil now over, focus turns to the 2018 event that will take place in Russia.


Six of the new stadiums that will be constructed for the tournament are being assessed under BREEAM to help drive the sustainable design and construction of the venues, and provide international recognition for their achievement.


Ksenia Agapova, Associate Director at Jones Lang Lasalle in Moscow, is acting as BREEAM advisor on three projects; the stadiums at Samara, Volgograd and Nizhniy Novgorod.


Agapova advises:

The FIFA World Cup 2018 stadiums, designed to BREEAM standards, will raise the bar of sustainable design and construction in Russia. Regulations in green building are not well developed here and few incentives exist for implementation of green technologies. It is a significant achievement for the design team to receive this international recognition and prove compliance with highest international standards. We are looking forward to successful completion of these projects and expected increased public awareness of green building, as these venues attract a lot of attention.


During the preparation of the design briefs for the stadia, a series of consultations were undertaken with representatives from the local communities, business groups, football clubs, the organising committee and local authorities. Experience of construction of other sports venues was applied in the form of design guidance from FIFA, as well as learning from similar projects around the world. Information about the  project and construction process is published on a regular basis online and is publically available through a knowledge-sharing platform to ensure knowledge transfer from one project to another.


Sustainable features of the stadium designs include:

  • Highly energy efficient lighting designed to achieve international best practice standards for light quality, with automated lighting controls to reduce energy bills
  • Overall energy consumption of 40% less than a comparable baseline building, with savings achieved through reduced building fabric U-values, efficient heating with heat recovery, and efficient ventilation with CO2 sensors in premises when unpredictable occupancy patterns can occur
  • Facilities for segregated waste collection, including organic waste storage and packaging, together with a compactor
  • All WC’s equipped with water-saving fixtures and valves to prevent uncontrollable water leakage, which is very common for large venues
  • Public transport information points to help visitors travel more sustainably, with site layouts designed to prevent the intersection of pedestrian, parking and delivery pathways
  • Ecological and biodiversity studies, which go above typical local construction practice requirements, with measures to enhance local biodiversity


BREEAM has previously been used extensively in the sporting field, including the Olympic venues for London 2012, and a range of other sports stadia around the world.



BREEAM is the internationally-recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities. Over 250,000 buildings have been certified around the world and over a million are registered for certification. BREEAM helps to drive the sustainable performance and value of a property asset and developments as a whole, and the scheme is developed across Europe through a family of National Scheme Operators including BREEAM UK, NL, DE, ES, SE and NOR. More information at


Image credit: Saransk Stadium, Image: Gradproject CJSC Moscow.

Brazil World Cup stadiums investigate long-term management options

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FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) recently held a Sustainability Training Programme for the operators of the 12 stadiums that will be at the centre of attention at the FIFA World Cup 2014. Many of them are not experts in sustainability and feel the need to expand their knowledge on the subject, in order to shoulder the responsibility of managing such complex buildings. Federico Addiechi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for FIFA said:

Back at the World Cup host bidding process, we decided that FIFA would support local sustainability projects as long as it would not be limited to stadium construction. For us, what’s important is supporting operations and the future management of these installations in a sustainable way.

CEO of the LOC, Ricardo Trade, added:

We’re not talking just about the World Cup here, but the life of the stadium beyond that. We will leave a legacy both regarding the new stadiums themselves and also in terms of administration for future management.

Pictured: a FIFA technical visit in Brasilia in early 2013. Learn from the operators and architects about the future prospects for Brazil’s new World Cup stadiums, including plans for widespread wi-fi, plus how to hear Ricardo Trade speak at Soccerex Rio – it’s all  in the autumn issue of PanStadia & Arena Management.


London Olympic Stadium wrap recycled

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The Stadium Wrap which adorned the London Olympic stadium is now serving a variety of purposes, according the supplier Dow. In June Dow concluded the installation of shades at the Bola Pra Frente (moving the ball forward) Institute, a social project that benefits hundreds of kids and teenagers at the Muquiço community, in Guadalupe, Rio de Janeiro.

Panels have been installed as shades at the Institute’s headquarters to increase the available space for outdoor activities. This project was completed in partnership with ES Global, a worldwide expert company that joined forces with Dow for the wrap’s post-game reuse plan. The installation also offered an opportunity to provide training and work to eight young people in the Muquiço Community.

George Hamilton, Vice President, Dow Olympic Operations, said:

The opportunity to bring one of our company’s key innovations from the London 2012 Olympic Games to Bola Pra Frente, a social project located at the next Olympic Host City, emphasises Dow’s commitment to the Olympic Games and to Rio de Janeiro.

An organisation dedicated to the education and social inclusion of children exposed to the hardships of civil war in Uganda, Africa, will also receive panels for a similar purpose later this year. The remaining panels have been allocated for recycling and reuse by British company Axion Recycling. The recycled material will be used as material for packaging, flooring and building applications. These programmes fulfil Dow’s commitment to LOCOG on the post-Games usage of the Wrap.