News and Notes

GSB News and Notes: It Ain’t All Super Bowl XLVIII At The Intersection of Green & Sports This Week


Despite appearances to the contrary, there is more going on in the sports world than a certain professional football game to be played on GroundHog Night, to paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, “somewhere in the swamps of Jersey”.  

That holds true for the intersection of Green & Sports.  

Here are some Green-Sports News, Notes & Blog Posts, non-Super Bowl XLVIII-style. 


  • The just-concluded Australian Open in Melbourne featured two surprise champions– Stanislaus Warwinka of Switzerland won the Men’s title, and China’s Li Na took the Women’s crown (MUST WATCH: Li Na’s witty/clever post-finals speech–it’s 2 only minutes)–and well-publicized record-breaking heat. “Australian Open Greening Wins”, a wonderful blog post by Alice Henly of NRDC (the non-profit that has taken the lead in helping the sports world green itself) sheds some much needed light on an important but under-reported aspect of the Australian Open:  The groundbreaking work being done by the State of Victoria to make Melbourne Park, site of the Open, “one of the most sustainable sports and entertainment venues in the world.”


  • The Winter X Games, which also just wrapped up at Buttermilk in Aspen, CO, has a big carbon footprint.  And, even though Aspen Skico, the host for this year’s event, invested in energy efficient snow-making equipment (the biggest contributor to the CO2 footprint), the X-Games will always be a “carbon suck”.  Auden Schendler, Skico’s Vice President of Sustainability doesn’t apologize for the carbon intensity of the X-Games in a fascinating interview in The Aspen Times.  Rather, he forthrightly acknowledges the problem while pointing out the significant commitments Skico has made to balance that carbon intensity. There are some tough questions embedded in this story (i.e. Can an industry as carbon-intensive as the skiing business be taken seriously when it talks about climate change?) that have no easy answers, at least not now, especially when one considers the next story.


  • After the Super Bowl-winning QB goes to Disney World, the Sochi Olympics will take center stage, with the Opening Ceremonies set for February 7. Security and gay rights issues have, understandably, been at the forefront. Concerns about the environment have also gotten some attention, with GSB covering back in October how Russia reneged, big-time, on its promise to make the Sochi Games the “greenest ever”.  The University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) looks well beyond Sochi with a must-read (and, for the winter sports world, Super-Troubling) study which posits that “just six of the previous Winter Olympics host cities will be cold enough to host the Games by the end of this century if climate projections prove accurate”.  Those “climate reliable cities” are expected to be Calgary, France’s Albertville, Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo, Switzerland’s St. Moritz, Japan’s Sapporo and Salt Lake City.  That means winter sports bastions from Lillehammer, Norway to Innsbruck, Austria will no longer be in play. Amazing, scary and sad.

The United States team enters Opening Ceremonies at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.  According to a study by Waterloo University, the climate in Lake Placid, which also hosted the 1980 Games, will not be suitable to stage a Winter Olympics by 2100 (Photo Credit:


OK, OK! It’s Super Bowl Media Day, you didn’t buy a ticket to go watch the press ask silly questions of the players at the Prudential Center in Newark (10,000 people showed up!) (SERIOUSLY!!) and you want at least one more Green-Sports Super Bowl related story.  Here goes!

  • Skanska, one of the lead builders of MetLife Stadium, host of Super Bowl XLVIII, has a cool blog post that demonstrates, infographic-style, how the company built one of the “most energy-efficient stadiums in the US”.

Not to worry; GSB will be up with one more Green-Sports-angled Super Bowl post, including a prediction, before the Big Game.



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  1. Nice reference to Bruce Springsteen, GSB! Shocked that Putin reneged on his promise to host a “green Olympics.”

  2. Thanks for the comment, Dave! I’m going to send this post to Springsteen–I’m sure he’ll be honored to be part of GSB. Putin? Nah, I won’t send it to him.

  3. The NRDC (National Resource Defense Council) rates state’s water preparation plans for climate change. Both New Jersey and Colorado are Category 2 states (1 the best and 4 the worst) relative to preparedness for the effects of climate change on the water supply. Seems as if recognition of the problem is the first step and that the category 4 states have their heads in the sand. So on this measurement, the Super Bowl will be a tie. Pity about the Patriots as they fell down on the field despite Massachusetts being a category 1 state of the NRDC.

  4. Thanks John for pointing out the NRDC’s H2O readiness rankings. Looks like Washington State is category one so Seattle gets the nod in that category over Colorado’s category two. Another reason why Seattle wins Green Super Bowl I. Interesting that all of the category 4 (worst prepared) states voted for Romney in 2012 except for one (Ohio). All of the category 1 and 2 (best and 2nd best, respectively) states voted for Obama in 2012 except for one (Alaska). Coincidence? And this recent article from Rolling Stone about the imminent climate disaster about to hit Miami, tells me that if Florida is only a category 3 (meaning there are states that are less prepared–the category 4s), the 3s and 4s are in big, big trouble: Also here’s the link to the NRDC Water Readiness Ranking story:

  5. Thanks for giving a nod to the work toward a sustainable sports event being done by the Aussies at the Open. The heat got a lot of buzz, but there’s always more to the story.

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