Green Athletics

UVA Athletics, in partnership with the Office for Sustainability, is implementing zero-waste initiatives to reduce landfilled waste, supporting student-athlete leadership in sustainability, improving efficiency and reduced environmental impact of its facilities, and engaging with local and national sustainability-related organizations to share solutions and earn recognition.   

 

Athletic Facilities

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.

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.

 

 

Compost sign in front of Palmer Park.

 

 

Athletic Events

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

Virginia Athletics began its waste diversion efforts in 2010 as part of the RecycleMania competition. The ultimate goal of the program was for university football events to achieve zero waste status, diverting 90% of their waste from the landfill. During its first year of participation, Virginia Athletics achieved a diversion rate of 33.5%. In years following, gameday waste diversion rates increased. 

In 2018, UVA renewed its commitment to waste diversion at athletic events, rolling out a new branding: Green Game. “Green Games” have volunteers who monitor the composting, recycling, and landfill stations to help fans sort their waste and who sweep the stadium following the game for programs, recyclables, and compostable materials. Fans can help by correctly disposing of their materials to minimize waste going to the landfill.


Sign up to volunteer for Green Games here.

 

Table that shows the diversion rate for each annual football green game from 2014 to present
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.

 

 

Table that shows the diversion rate for each annual basketball green game from 2014 to present

 

 

Green Game volunteers holding signs.

 

 

 

 

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.