News and Notes

GSB News and Notes: What City Will Host 2020 Green Sports Alliance Summit?; Gillette, Terracycle Partner to Upcycle Razor Blades; Adidas Doubles its Recycled Shoe Production;

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Greetings from Amtrak’s Keystone train service en route from New York to Philadelphia and the start of the 2019 Green Sports Alliance Summit. 

In today’s GSB News & Notes column, we look beyond the City of Brotherly Love to find the best host city for the Alliance’s 2020 gathering. 

Then we cross the Delaware River into New Jersey where Gillette, a major sports advertiser and the #1 razor maker in the USA, is teaming up with Trenton-based Terracycle on an innovative program to upcycle — remake discarded products to create new products — used razors. 

Finally, we check in on Adidas which, thanks to its partnership with Parley for the Oceans, has been making and selling athletic footwear and apparel made from plastic ocean waste since 2017. Apparently producing five million Parley sneakers in 2018 did not satisfy the world’s #2 ranked athletic apparel brand: Adidas recently announced they would more than double that number this year. 

GSB’S EARLY MORNING LINE ON GREEN SPORTS ALLIANCE SUMMIT 2020 HOST CITY
If history is any guide, Roger McClendon, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance, will announce the host city for the 2020 Summit during the 2019 gathering which kicks off today at Lincoln Financial Field, the LEED Gold home of the Philadelphia Eagles.
In case the Alliance is still unsure about which city to pick, GSB offers three worthy Summit hosts. Our candidates are, in alphabetical order:
Miami
PROS
#1: Miami and Miami Beach are among the most vulnerable cities in the world to the effects of climate change-induced sea level rise. According to a November 2018 study from Zillow, 35 percent of the housing stock in Miami and an astounding 85.2 percent in Miami Beach are in the “sea level rise risk zone” over the next 5 to 25 years.
#2: See #1. A Miami summit would put climate change and sea level rise front and center like never before.
#3: American Airlines Arena, home of the NBA’s Heat, would be an ideal Summit venue as it is LEED Gold certified.

American Airlines Arena

American Airlines Arena (Photo credit: Miami Heat)

#4: Marlins Park became first retractable roof stadium to earn LEED Gold
CONS
#1: The environment seemed not to factor in the building or operation of Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL Dolphins.
#2: Flooding now regularly occurs on sunny days due sea level rise.

Miami Flooding on a sunny day

Driving through Miami at high tide, with blue skies and no hurricane (Photo credit: The Sparkspread)

Minneapolis (and St. Paul)
PROS
#1: Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium (Vikings), Target Field (Twins) and TCF Bank Stadium (University of Minnesota Gophers football) are LEED certified at a variety of levels. So is St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center Arena (NHL’s Wild).
#2: CHS Field, home to independent baseball’s St. Paul Saints, while not LEED certified, is another environmentally-advanced gem.

StPaulSaints solar

100 kWh solar array located in beyond the left field wall supplies a portion of the electricity to CHS Field (Photo credit: St. Paul Saints)

#3: David Fhima, one of the Twin Cities’ top chefs, has brought his clean, healthy, tasty food to Target Center (NBA’s Timberwolves, WNBA’s Lynx)
#4: Light rail connects all of the Twin Cities’ sports venues, as well as Minneapolis to St. Paul.
CON
#1: US Bank Stadium, with its reflective glass exterior and located on a major flyway, has a significant bird kill problem. The Vikings, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), and stadium architects were aware of the issue but did nothing to solve it — and it is eminently solvable. Protests from Audubon groups and others ensued but, sadly, to no effect.

Toronto 
PROS
#1: Toronto is Canada’s largest city and Canada has a federal carbon pricing policy. That’s a big deal. The United States would do well to follow the lead of its neighbor to the north.

Canadian Flag

#2: Bringing the GSA Summit to Canada for the first time could help spur the country’s sports greening movement.
#3: Scotiabank Arena, home of the NHL’s Maple Leafs and the newly-crowned NBA champs Raptors (#WeTheNorth), has made significant strides on energy use, waste, and water.
CON
#1: There’s no evidence that the environment was a consideration in the design and construction of BMO Field, home of MLS’ Toronto FC and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL)

GSB’s Take: All three cities are worthy of hosting a Green Sports Summit but the pick has to be the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Surprised? You shouldn’t be: GSB is at the midway point of a four-part series,”Twin Cities Rule US Green Sports.” To be clear, these prospective host cities are products of my own imagination; I did not consult with the Alliance on this. So if Minneapolis (and St. Paul!) is picked, it just means I’m a GSA Summit savant. And if the Alliance goes to, say, Salt Lake City, please move along to the next News & Note.

GILLETTE, TERRACYCLE TEAM UP TO UPCYCLE OLD RAZORS
How many disposable razors do you get rid of each year? According to the EPA, over two billion are thrown away annually in the USA¹ as most are not recyclable.

Gillette

Two billion razors are thrown away in the USA each year — and end up in landfill (Photo credit: Crisco/Wiki Commons)

Gillette — which has its name on the New England Patriots’ stadium in Foxboro, MA and is one of the leading sports advertisers in the USA — wants to drastically reduce that number, keeping those old razors out of landfill.
Adele Peters, writing in a recent issue of Fast Companyreported that Gillette “is inviting anyone in the U.S. to send in old razors, blades, and even packaging — from any brand —for [up]cycling.”
To do so, people can sign up through Terracycle, an innovative circular economy pioneer based in Trenton, New Jersey known for upcycling and recycling materials that would otherwise go to landfill — several years ago, they turned Capri Sun juice pouches into backpacks. Once a shipment of used blades is ready, all one has to do is download a shipping label and send it in.

Terracycle

Inside Terracycle headquarters, where almost everything is upcycled or recycled (Photo credit: Terracycle)

After arrival at Terracycle, the materials get sterilized, shredded, and upcycled into products like bike racks, park benches, and pet food bowls. Gillette also offers drop-off bins to gyms; once full, the bin’s contents are forwarded to Terracycle via UPS, with Gillette covering shipping costs. Those who use the company’s razor subscription service can also now return old units in the subscription box.

GSB’s Take: GSB likes the Gillette-Terracycle partnership. And I will certainly take advantage of this important upcycling opportunity.
Like will turn into love if Gillette decides to heavily advertise the upcycling program on TV and online sports programming. All they have to do is slightly update their jingle: “Gillette, the best a man can get — and then upcycle.”

ADIDAS TO MAKE 11 MILLION SHOES FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC IN 2019; GOLF ADDED TO THE MIX
Adidas recently announced it would produce 11 million shoes from upcycled plastic waste in 2019, more than doubling the 5 million it manufactured last year. The Herzogenaurach, Germany based company began its partnership with Parley for the Oceans to help clean up the world’s oceans by making shoes and athletic apparel from trash found there in 2017.
Plastic waste is intercepted on beaches in places like the sea level rise-threatened Maldive Islands before it reaches the oceans. The recovered material is then made into a yarn, which is used to create the upper material of the shoes.

parley ocean school maldives

Plastic ocean waste washed up on the shore of the Maldive Islands in 2016 (Photo credit: Parley for the Oceans)

Golf will help Adidas reach its 2019 Parley for the Oceans production goal: The company recently added a limited edition Parley version of the TOUR360 XT shoe to its lineup.

Adidas TOUR360 XT Parley shoe

The Adidas TOUR360 XT Parley golf shoe (Photo credit: Adidas)

Per Hardimann, “The first ever golf shoe made from…upcycled plastic waste features a sock-like design with a cushioned sole.”
“Our company is extremely focused on sustainability and we wanted to incorporate that mission into our sport,” said Masun Denison, global footwear director at Adidas Golf. “This is the first golf shoe we’ve ever made that incorporates upcycled materials and this is just the beginning. In a sport that’s played outdoors and where sustainability is often under the microscope, we feel this is a massive step forward for the game.”
Widening the lens beyond golf, Adidas signed the Climate Protection Charter for the Fashion Industry last year. Doing so commits the company to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The charter is under the auspices of the UNFCCC, the same organization that developed the Sports for Climate Action framework.

GSB’s Take: Kudos to Adidas and Parley for the Oceans for stepping up production on Parley shoes by ten times — from 1 million to 11 million — in just two years. Still, that 11 million only represents about 2.7 percent of the company’s total 2018 shoe output of 409 million. Will every Adidas shoe be a Parley shoe someday? Why not? And when?

¹ Per Groundswell.org: https://groundswell.org/2-billion-tossed-per-year-whats-the-most-wasteful-bathroom-product/

CORRECTION: In the original version of this post, Miami’s American Airlines Arena was listed as the “first arena in the world to earn LEED Gold status.” In fact, Pittsburgh’s PPG Paint Arena was the first LEED Gold certified arena.


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“Twin Cities Rule US Green-Sports”: Part II: David Fhima Brings Tasty, Green, Clean Food to Target Center Fans

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