Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bowdoin College
IN-4: Green Athletics

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Mgmt
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution’s green athletics program include the following?:
Yes or No
Zero waste and/or carbon neutral athletic events Yes
A stadium certified under a green building rating system Yes
A sustainable food and beverage purchasing program that includes athletic event vendors and concessions ---
A program to minimize the use of potable water and chemicals in turf maintenance and groundskeeping Yes
A program to support more sustainable transportation options for athletic events ---
Community engagement efforts, e.g. to educate students and fans/supporters about the institution’s sustainability initiatives Yes
An athletic team certification program Yes

A brief description of the institution’s green athletics program, including the specific initiatives selected above:

The Bowdoin Green Athletics Program began in April of 2011, with a committed group of environmentally minded athletes who developed the initiative to bring their environmental ethic to a large portion of the student body. Their Mission Statement follows: As athletes and as members of the larger Bowdoin College community, we are mindful that our actions affect the environment. We are committed to helping the College attain its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020, and we pledge to work as a team to lessen our environmental impact. Our teams will construct specific goals in order to increase sustainability and create a community of environmental stewardship on the Bowdoin campus.

Since 2011, the Green Athletics Program has worked with the Sustainability Office and Athletics Department to incorporate sustainability into Bowdoin’s athletic operations. One of the program’s main initiatives is the Team Challenge, which is a friendly competition between Bowdoin’s athletic teams aimed to promote sustainable behavior and reduce overall waste. Teams are given a set of green challenges that include limiting their showers, collecting recyclables and food waste on away trips, using reusable water bottles, and volunteering at Green Athletic events. Each team nominates an eco rep that reports back to the Green Athletics coordinator on the weekly efforts of their team. Team eco reps also suggest new ideas to further improve sustainability within the Athletic Department. The top two performing teams for each season receive prizes, and the team with the highest score out of the fall, winter, and spring sports is recognized at the Annual Polar Bear All Sports Awards Ceremony. The winning team and runner up for the fall 2018 season was Women’s Cross Country and Volleyball, respectively. For the 2018-2019 winter season, Women’s Swimming and Diving won and Women’s Squash came in second. The winners for Spring 2019 have yet to be determined.

Green Athletics also participates in the EPA GameDay Challenge, a nationwide competition among colleges and universities designed to divert waste and spread sustainability awareness at home football games. The program also organizes Green Games to increase the environmental presence at athletic events and to engage with fans by instructing them on how to properly dispose of their waste.

In addition to the above listed outreach and engagement efforts Bowdoin prides itself on the green and efficient athletic facilities on campus. Watson Arena, constructed in 2009, was the first LEED certified collegiate ice arena in the country. Two years later Bowdoin opened the new LEED silver certified Buck Fitness Center. Currently under construction is the Whittier Field House located next to the football and lacrosse field as well as the outdoor track. The Field House has applied for LEED Silver certification and is waiting for a final ruling from USGBC. Older athletic facilities have had lights updated to LED lights and the air handling systems in Farley Field House have been updated to reduce energy consumption.

The Town of Brunswick’s aquifer protection zone includes Bowdoin’s Whittier Field, home of Bowdoin’s football team. Because of this designation, the college began treating the field organically in 2002. Utilizing an organic program of aeration, compost tea, and hand weeding, over time the college has developed a superb playing field that is completely organic. Bowdoin has expanded the organic treatment across 60 percent of the central campus, including the Cleaveland Quad, Main Quad, Coe Quad and the President’s residence and guest house. The treatments utilize ingredients such as corn gluten, seaweed, bone meal and manure, and pest deterrents such as red pepper and garlic oils.

In recent years, as a means of conserving water, the college installed a below ground irrigation system on athletic fields at Pickard Field and the Main and Cleaveland Quads. These systems monitor the moisture in the soil and only water accordingly. The systems are automated to operate in the early morning hours before the sun rises to reduce evaporation during the watering cycle. The campus maintains a mowing height of 2.5 to 3 inches, which encourages deeper root growth, thus reducing the need for watering. Utilizing mulching mowers, grass clippings are left on the lawn. On the rare occasion when they need to be removed, the clippings are composted.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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