GSB News and Notes: Greening Rugby World Cup, Adidas Launches Sport Infinity, GSA 2016 Summit to Houston


Today’s very busy GreenSportsBlog’s News and Notes dives into 1) the greening of the Rugby World Cup, now taking place in England, 2) how Adidas is taking its green-sports leadership to another level with Sport Infinity, and, 3) the announcement of Houston as the site for the 2016 Green Sports Alliance Summit.

From September 18 to Halloween, England is the center of the Rugby world as it hosts the Rugby World Cup, a festival of scrums, mauls and rucks. While New Zealand’s legendary All Blacks are expected to hoist the Cup, this year’s event definitely has a GREEN hue.
In fact, the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the governing body of the sport in the UK, has been working on tackling carbon emissions since 2009, alongside energy and climate change experts Ricardo-AEA and Schneider Electric.
Ricardo-AEA’s greening focus has been London’s Twickenham Stadium, the 82,000 seat “Home of England Rugby” and the site of the Rugby World Cup final match. It has been overseeing its environmental data collection as part of a project that aims to achieve a 20% decrease in emissions.
Schneider Electric is helping Twickenham to communicate the stadium’s energy usage statistics to fans. They can now find out how much is being consumed–and saved–thanks to dashboards at the main entrance. The savings come, in part, from the installation of LED lights and from 250 smart monitoring points inserted around the stadium, collecting information on power quality, voltage, current and other metrics.

Twickenham Stadium, the greening home of English Rugby and site of the Rugby World Cup Final on Halloween. (Photo credit: England Rugby)

And Twickenham is not the only Rugby World Cup venue getting into the greening game.
74,500 seat Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales* set out, in September 2010 to become the UK’s first certifiably sustainable stadium and to do so within 12 months. They actually got it done in 10–by dotting an impressive number of green “i’s” and crossing green “t’s”: From reduced water use to composting food waste, from rainwater harvesting to use of smart-grid technology, from aggressively greening the stadium’s supply chain to engaging employees in green behavior–and more.
adidas is getting it done, green-sports-wise.
The company, featured in GreenSportsBlog in July for its innovative usage of ocean plastic waste in some of its shoes, makes its return with the recent announcement of Sport Infinity, its plan for a new breed of sporting goods that will never be thrown away.
The Sport Infinity project is a collaboration of superstar companies (adidas, BASF, and more), academia (University of Leeds) and government (European Commission). It will identify, develop and embed innovative recyclable materials into shoes and other sporting goods which will then be able to be re-designed into a next generation of sporting goods by professionals and/or consumers themselves.
That’s right, the consumer will be a part of the design process of the recycled products if they so choose. Consumers can choose the colors and functionality of their product and create, with adidas, the next generation of product to keep up with the latest styles or to react to on-field needs. And this process can happen over and over again.
This infographic tells the Sport Infinity story better than we can:

Infographic credit: adidas

We’ll give the last word on Sport Infinity to Glenn Bennett, Executive Board Member, Global Operations at the adidas Group: “Sport Infinity…will close the sustainability loop, creating a high-performance product that can always be recycled.”
This is a big sports week for Houston: The Astros play the Yankees tonight in the American League Wild Card Playoff Game^. The Houston Texans have the national stage to themselves when they take on the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football. And the Astros home stadium, Minute Maid Park, was just announced as the host for the 6th annual Green Sports Alliance Summit, to take place June 28-30, 2016.
Minute Maid Park

Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros and site of the 6th annual Green Sports Alliance Summit, June 28-30, 2016. (Photo credit: Mapquest)

GreenSportsBlog has no inside information as to what led the Alliance to go with Houston as Summit host city but we believe it is an inspired choice. Think about it: The first five hosts were blue state, green (or greening) cities:

  • 2011: Portland
  • 2012: Seattle
  • 2013: Brooklyn
  • 2014: Santa Clara
  • 2015: Chicago

Subconsciously, this might have fed a notion that the greening of sports was/is a blue state/lefty thing. Going to Houston (a city, to be sure, that is greening far more than is the perception), the epicenter of the US oil industry, in red state Texas, demonstrates that the greening of sports is neither red or blue. It’s simply a necessity.
If you’re planning to go the Summit next June, the Alliance is accepting proposals for panels–the events theme is “Partnerships”. To find out how to submit one, click here.

* Wales is not in England, we know. But Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is hosting Rugby World Cup matches anyway!
^ We like the Houston choice for GSA Host but GO YANKEES!!
Please comment below!
Email us: lew@greensportsblog.com
Tweet us: @greensportsblog


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