The Greening of College Sports has been a big focus of GreenSportsBlog. Last week, we highlighted the great work Ohio State is doing with its Zero-Waste home games. Today, the intersection of Green & College Sports moves to Eugene, Oregon and the University of Oregon. Black Friday’s “Civil War” game vs. in-state rival Oregon State, was the first ever game to pursue certification from the Council for Responsible Sport.
Black Friday’s 119th edition of the Civil War football rivalry between the University of Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers at Eugene’s Autzen Stadium was a tighter-than-expected 52-42 win for the home side (OSU has had an awful season). While Ducks fans might disagree, the more interesting action may have taken place off the field as the contest was the first NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision football game to pursue certification from the Council for Responsible Sport—a measure of the game’s positive environmental, social and economic impact.
The Council’s mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts. To date, the Council has certified 119 events, ranging from the 2008 Freshwater Trust Portland Triathlon, to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, hosted by the University of Oregon, to the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Pursuit of Council certification provides tremendous visibility for the Greening of the Civil War Series. UO has gotten buy-in from a range of stakeholders, including key Athletic Department partners like Sanipac (recycling) and Daimler, to the involvement of graduate students from the Lundquist College of Business in documenting the many initiatives UO hopes will lead to certification.
“We pride ourselves as caretakers of our campus and community, which requires a continuous focus and effort on sustainability,” said Director of Athletics Rob Mullens. “The biggest annual sporting event in our state is the perfect way to demonstrate our commitment to this important area.”
Indeed, from a university policy that requires all new campus buildings to attain LEED certification, to a college that was recently ranked the #1 Green MBA program in the country by the Princeton Review, to the athletic department’s commitment to produce events that have far-reaching social benefits and the least possible environment impact, the University of Oregon’s overall commitment to sustainability reflects Eugene, Oregon’s community values. A partnership with the City of Eugene and their involvement with the Sustainable Cities movement, coupled with the University Office of Sustainability’s efforts to develop and manage innovative, high quality projects and programs, and tracking and reporting institutional progress keeps the focus on sustainability constant.
GreenSports Blog formally throws down the Green Gauntlet to Oregon State with the expectation that it goes for Council for Responsible Certification for the 120th Civil War next November in Corvallis.