By: Amanda Redfern, Greening of the Athletics Department Intern
Two weeks ago I was given the opportunity to attend the Collegiate Sports Sustainability Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Universities from all across the nation came to attend the summit, including UCLA, The Ohio State University, North Carolina State University, and Florida State University. The main theme of the Summit was to implement sustainable practices into the Athletic Department through Green Building Initiatives and Game Day Programs.
The Summit was broken up into multiple sessions that discussed various topics like “Fostering a Culture of Sustainability in Collegiate Sports,” “Operations and Engagement in Tailgate Areas and Stadiums,” and “Understanding and Engaging Sports Marketing.” Within each session there were 3 to 6 panelists that had experience working in the topic that was being discussed within that session. The panelists would talk about what their experience was, and recommendations they had for others who wanted to implement something similar. Each session allowed people to discuss pros and cons and ask for specific pertaining to their different areas of interest. Overall the whole summit was set up as a learning experience to gain new sustainability information on something you may already be doing, or to learn about something new that you never even thought of.
Even though most the focus throughout the Summit was on single Game Day initiatives, everyone came to a consensus it is not only what you do on one day, it is all the small things you do every day that make a difference. Everyone made it a point to remember that sustainability within the Athletic Department does not just happen on one day, it takes places every day in everything that you do like printing, recycling, and creating an environment that promotes sustainable practices.