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.
Green Team Certification
The Green Athletics group, run by student-athletes, works to continuously educate and empower Athletics teams to take sustainable action, and has rolled out the Green Team Certification to address resource use within UVA Athletic team operations by promoting sustainable actions and environmental consciousness. Participating varsity Athletics teams complete sustainable actions to earn points that are tracked using the Green Team Leaderboard.
Teams who earn 10 points are Green Team Certified and the team with the most points earned throughout the academic year will receive the “Green Team” award in recognition of their sustainable efforts.
Zero-Waste in Athletics
UVA began participating in zero-waste initiatives via the national RecycleMania: Campus Race to Zero Waste competition. The goal during each “Green Game” is zero-waste, which is when 90% of the waste (by weight) is diverted from the landfill to either recycling or composting.
“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.
At every football game, the 56 suites and the President’s box at Scott Stadium are served with compostable products, showing that hospitality expectations can be met or exceeded while significantly decreasing the amount of waste landfilled. The products are provided by Aramark Catering (UVA Athletics’ contracted provider for Athletic events) and include Eco-Product® plates, cups, utensils, bowls, napkins, and containers. Additionally, the kitchens that serve the suites compost all food waste from the suites and kitchens.
For fans, recycling is available inside the stadium at every game. During the annual football Green Game, composting is also made available inside the stadium for fans and recycling bags are handed out to tailgaters.
During the 2019 Football Gameday Recycling Challenge, UVA achieved a waste diversion rate of 59% from the stadium and surrounding tailgates, placing UVA 3rd in the ACC and 15th in the nation.
Just as in Scott Stadium, compostable products are used in all 19 suites at John Paul Jones Arena (JPJ) and food waste from the kitchens serving the suites is also composted. The serving products are Eco-Products® provided by Aramark Catering. Within the student-athlete dining room at JPJ, all kitchen food waste is composted.
During the Winter 2020 Basketball Gameday Recycling Challenge, UVA Athletics achieved a waste diversion rate of 79%, placing UVA 1st in the ACC for diversion and 10th in the country. To note, the 2020 competition are based on weeks 1-5 only (Feb 2-Mar 7) due to COVID-19 and early campus closures.
Additionally, UVA won the 2018 Campus Engagement Case Study Competition Education and Awareness Campaign award.
The Green Athletics group began working with the Office for Sustainability, Aramark, and UVA Facilities Management in 2018 to coordinate more Green Games at Olympic sports’ home games with the goal of enabling “Green Games” for entire sport seasons. Learn more on the Green Athletics group annual update.
UVA Athletics supports LEED projects, and all new capital projects are LEED certified in alignment with UVA Green Building Standards.
The following UVA Athletics’ facilities are LEED certified:
- Dean Family Golf Performance Center (2020) – LEED Scorecard
- UVA McArthur Squash Center Addition (2020) – LEED Scorecard
- UVA McArthur Squash Center at Boar’s Head (2014) – LEED Scorecard
- George Welsh Indoor Practice Facility (2014) – LEED Scorecard
- UVA Baseball Stadium Addition Renovation (2011) – LEED Scorecard
The following UVA Athletics’ facilities are certified LEED Silver:
- UVA Baseball Stadium Disharoon Park Expansion (2019) - LEED Scorecard
Some of the key benefits and sustainability features that earned Disharoon Park’s expansion LEED Silver are highlighted below:
The design of the expansion achieved energy cost savings of 31% compared to typical building performance, leading to significant savings year after year. Following construction, fundamental commissioning was completed to ensure all systems were operating correctly and efficiently. Data was entered for tracking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, a free online tool used by building owners and managers to measure and track energy and water consumption.
The stadium expansion design reduced potable water use by 30% compared to typical buildings and included water efficient bathroom fixtures. Additionally, there is a stormwater management plan in place to reduce peak discharge rate of stormwater and landscaping that does not require permanent irrigation.
During construction, 94% of the on-site generated construction waste was diverted from being landfilled. When selecting materials for the expansion, 13% of materials purchased (by value) were manufactured using recycled materials and 11% of materials and products purchased were manufactured and extracted within 500 miles of the project site. To improve and maintain indoor air quality, low-VOC (volatile organic chemicals) paint and coating products, interior flooring, and adhesives and sealants were used. Once opened, the expansion included recycling for fans.
Green Athletics Internship
The Green Athletics Intern works with UVA’s Office for Sustainability to help advocate for more sustainable practices and by helping athletic teams build more sustainable habits. Student-athletes who are interested in the position can reach out to email@example.com.