In partnership with the Office for Sustainability, Virginia Athletics is implementing Zero Waste initiatives that support student-athlete leadership in sustainability, improve operational efficiency, reduce environmental impact.
In alignment with the University’s sustainability goals, Virginia Athletics has made a commitment to improve the sustainability of all its athletic facilities and incorporate green building standards into all new construction. The department engages with local and national sustainability-related organizations to share solutions and earn recognition in support of its work.
- LEED Certification
One of UVA Athletics’ goals is to build and maintain the highest quality facilities in the country with the purpose of attracting and developing the best student-athletes. To meet this goal, Athletics ensures that facilities are well maintained, efficiently operated and designed with intent to provide high performance spaces that have the needs, health and wellness of student-athletes in mind.
In accordance with these goals, UVA Athletics supports LEED projects, and all new capital projects are LEED certified in alignment with UVA Green Building Standards.
- Focus on Palmer Park
Palmer Park received LEED Silver Certification from the US Green Buildings Council, meaning UVA Softball’s new home goes above and beyond as a showcase for green building practices.
From the start, Palmer Park was designed to be as energy efficient as possible. High performance windows, building equipment, LED lighting systems and smart building controls ensure energy and operating costs are minimized. An all-electric HVAC system furthers this goal while limiting on-site carbon emissions in support of UVA’s carbon neutrality and fossil fuel-free goals.
- Focus on Disharoon Park
The expansion of Disharoon Park received LEED Silver Certification from the US Green Buildings Council in 2019. During construction, special attention was paid to the diversion of construction waste, and both the composition and production location of new materials.
Compared to typical building performance, the design of the expansion has achieved energy cost savings of 31% and reduced potable water use by 30%. Additionally, there is a stormwater management plan in place to reduce peak discharge rate of stormwater and landscaping that does not require permanent irrigation.
University athletic events are highly resource-intensive, so the Office of Sustainability has partnered with Virginia Athletics and UVA Dine to establish programs that reduce the amount of landfilled waste.
- Green Games
For the 2022 season, the sustainability team committed to supporting composting and recycling efforts at every home football game. The decision to modify Green Game into a season-long event was made in alignment with UVA Sustainability’s goal to reduce waste to 30% of 2010 levels by 2030. Approximately 20 student-volunteers joined each event to help collect and monitor compost bins during and after the game. Thanks to student support, the Office for Sustainability helped divert more than 12,000 pounds of compostable materials from the landfill.
- Fan Engagement
UVA student-athletes encourage fans to get involved with sustainability efforts underway in Athletics. There are many easy ways fans can contribute to a “greener game day” whether tailgating, cheering from the stands, or watching from home. When in attendance at UVA Athletics events, sort waste materials correctly into recycling, compost, and landfill trash bags. When purchasing tailgate supplies, consider more sustainable options such as: reusable, recyclable, or compostable dishware, utensils, and decoration, bulk purchasing, and locally-sourced products.
Green Athletics is a group of student athlete leaders committed to advancing sustainability on Grounds. Under the guidance of the Office for Sustainability, the working group promotes the University’s sustainability goals and initiatives, focusing on outreach and engagement. Each semester, Green Athletics plans and executes a range of projects and events with the aim to promote sustainable thought and practice among student athletes, coaches and administrators.
Sustainability in the ACC
Through student groups and professional associations, UVA has partnered with other ACC schools to share and integrate sustainable practices into collegiate athletics.
- ACC Sport's Sustainability Team
The ACC Sports Sustainability Team is committed to integrating sustainable practices into collegiate athletics through collaboration, engagement, education and accountability - allowing athletes, students and fans to participate in collegiate athletics long into the future. The team aims to lead and cultivate the collective strengths and expertise of ACC member institutions, creating an impact through innovative sports sustainability practice.
- ACC Sustainable Student Athletes
The ACC Sports Sustainable Student-Athlete Team has been developed so that student-athletes throughout the conference can share ideas and aspirations for a more sustainable future. The group is committed to a range of initiatives including increasing sustainability education, championing an intersectional approach to sustainability, collaborating with Athletics leadership, and supporting the sports community.