The Greening of U.S. Sports

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At The George Washington University in Washington, DC, the School of Business’ Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sport Management has launched a “Green Sports Score Card” research initiative, designed to help sports organizations around the world assess their environmental friendliness. 


The score card is an assessment tool that sports teams and other organizations, from youth to professional levels, can use to determine their “green score” and compare how they rank among peers. 

Institute students, faculty and staff will provide reports that offer ways to reduce environmental impact—from immediate, no-cost ideas to long-range, budgeted items. Initial assessments focus on a team’s front office, facilities, concessions, travel, equipment, policies and event-management practices. 

The initiative is “vital to the sports industry,” says Lisa Delpy Neirotti, PhD (right), the associate professor of tourism and sport management who leads the program. “Most teams and sports organizations are just now forming committees to tackle this issue.” 


Dr. Neirotti was inspired to promote the greening of U.S. sports after attending the 2007 International Olympic Committees Sports and Environment Conference in Beijing. 

The GW Department of Athletics and Maryland SoccerPlex are currently pilot-testing the Green Sports Score Card. Other groups that have committed to participate include the Eaglebank Bowl, the first NCAA-sanctioned, post-season bowl game played in Washington, DC; the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four, the official college hockey championship; the SunTrust National Marathon; the Washington Wizards; and the Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic. 

“Various environmental measurement tools have been developed for fields such as higher education, businesses and individual households,” says Mark Starik, PhD, the professor of strategic management and public policy who directs the Institute for Corporate Responsibility’s environmental sustainability program. “A Green Sports Score Card is a natural and smart progression. It will offer not only a baseline but an additional incentive for teams and sports organizations to take this issue seriously. It will help them act now to reduce their impact on the environment.” 

Editor’s Note: For similar articles, please visit our Organic Living Articles Archive and the Environment Section of our Organic Blog.

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