Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Mgmt
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Green Athletics

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

Bowdoin’s Sustainability Office works closely with the College’s Green Athletics student group, which focuses on incorporating sustainability into the College’s Athletic Department and within individual teams. The group’s main initiative for the last two years has been “The Green Athletics Team Challenge,” where sports teams commit to sustainability goals and compete against each other for an annual Athletic Department award and a cash prize for their team.

The team challenges range from using reusable water bottles and recycling on trips to taking shorter showers and going trayless in the dining halls. Representatives from Green Athletics meet with teams at the beginning of their season to make any changes to the team challenges based on team structure or personality. For example, some teams don’t have a locker room while others have tailgates at games instead of buying food at a restaurant, and all of these nuances impact a team’s ability to complete different challenges. In addition to the challenges provided by Green Athletics, teams are encouraged to come up with new actions that count towards their total. These are scored by Green Athletics based on creativity, difficulty, and impact.

Teams are given a team-specific score sheet to keep track of their points and each week the team “Eco-Rep,” a volunteer position, emails Green Athletics their score. Green Athletics then updates a large scoreboard outside of Bowdoin’s Fitness Center so students can easily see how their efforts rank against other teams in their season. At the end of each season, teams that have scored more than a target number are invited to an end-of-season celebration with complementary food at the College’s Pub. The event features a video from Bowdoin’s Athletic Director congratulating them on their efforts and pictures showing what actions the teams did that season. The winning team of each season gets $100 for their program and qualifies for the Athletic Department Green Team award, announced at the annual Sports Award Banquet, which comes with an additional $200 prize.

The Challenge began during the 2014-2015 academic year and had a very successful first year, with 14 teams completing all of their challenges and over 22 teams completing at least one. Some notable actions included the Men’s Hockey team collecting recyclable bottle caps to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House and the Volleyball team composting on the bus for every away game. The Crew team won the first Green Athletics award for hosting a campus Erg-a-thon to raise money for the local Nature Conservancy, the organization that protects the river they row on.

About 60% of Bowdoin students participate in varsity or intramural sports, and this new initiative allows our office to engage with these students in a fun and competitive way. The 2nd annual Team Challenge is currently underway, and has been tweaked slightly based on feedback from athletes and coaches. In addition, we have had several students from other schools ask us for advice as they start similar efforts within their Athletic Departments. We are very proud to be at the forefront of this movement and look forward to making an even greater impact during each season to come.


A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):
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A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research ---
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy Yes
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste Yes
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available:
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