Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 88.00
Liaison Sam Lubow
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
IN-4: Green Athletics

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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 No
A sustainable food and beverage purchasing program that includes athletic event vendors and concessions Yes
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 Yes
Community engagement efforts, e.g. to educate students and fans/supporters about the institution’s sustainability initiatives Yes
An athletic team certification program No

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

The sustainability in Athletics working group was formed in 2012 and has steadily built the sustainability in Athletics program ever since. In 2013, Stanford University officially joined the Green Sports Alliance, formalizing its commitment to a sustainability in Athletics program. In summer 2014, Stanford was featured on the Green Sports Alliance's Stadium Tours circuit. The holistic Cardinal Green Athletics program now focuses on all aspects of sustainability, including energy and water efficiency and waste diversion and reduction programs. Key milestones of the program are featured on the Cardinal Green Athletics Fact Sheet attached to this credit and on the general Stanford Athletics website at the link below.

A good example of the Cardinal Green Athletics program's progress is in the area of Zero Waste, as showcased by expanded programming and communications for Game Day Challenges, as well as the use of these events to collect data to build the case for future efforts. Stanford has competed in the national football Game Day Challenge and the Pac-12 Zero Waste Bowl since 2014 and now selects designated games during both football season and basketball season (men's and women's). The goal of each sustainability game is to engage students, staff and fans to recycle and compost, which is achieved through social media engagement, emails to season ticket holders and students, placement of A-frame signs around the venues with sustainability factoids, greening tailgates, training ushers, engaging student volunteers to help fans sort their waste, and showing custom sustainability videos during halftime. Through these initiatives, the diversion rate at the women's basketball sustainability game increased to 68% in 2018 from 6% in 2015. Stanford Stadium has also increased its diversion rate, both at its sustainability-themed games and overall. Through additional signage, on-screen messaging, and expansion of compost infrastructure inside the stadium, Stanford achieved a 43% season-wide diversion rate inside the stadium in 2018, up from 12% during the 2015 season. In 2017, Stanford won the "Most Improved" award in the Pac-12 Zero Waste Bowl.

Stanford measures waste in its tailgate areas separately and reached an overall 16% diversion rate in tailgate areas in 2018, an impressive endeavor given the difficulty of collecting waste in such spread out locations and the array of products used by fans while they tailgate. One way Athletics increased its diversion rate in tailgate areas was by distributing "tailgate kits" to tailgaters with appropriately colored bags for compost, recycling, and landfill, which helped tailgaters sort their waste correctly. . These initiatives are part of the larger Cardinal Green Athletics program; additional initiatives offered through this program are highlighted below.

Currently, 2/3 of the products offered by Stanford Concessions are compostable, and Stanford Concessions continually works to increase the number of compostable products it offers. For instance, in 2016-17, Stanford Concessions began procuring compostable mini cups, spoons, and branded cups, and transitioned to serving popcorn in compostable paper bags rather than plastic-coated popcorn containers that had to be landfilled. Finally, Concessions now donates leftover food after all football games and select basketball games. In 2018, over 5,000 pounds of leftover food were donated from Stanford Stadium after football games.

Stanford Golf Course has reduced water consumption through methods such as reducing the irrigated acreage from 105 to 85 acres, installing weather-based irrigation, monitoring conditions and irrigation schedules twice per day, and upgrading to high efficiency sprinkler heads. Additionally, in other areas, turf has been converted to artificial turf, including the berms around Maples Pavilion, Stanford's basketball arena. Stanford Athletics also uses a custom compost mix on its fields rather than inorganic fertilizers and minimizes all other chemical use, using chemical sprays at most once per year.

Stanford Athletics encourages sustainable transportation to all of its events to reduce parking and traffic congestion in the area and minimize emissions from traveling to games. Stanford has worked with the local Caltrain to make a special stop on game days closer to Stanford's campus in order to encourage Caltrain ridership to games. Additionally, Stanford highlights all alternative transit options on its game day websitse, found at: http://www.gostanford.com/gameday

Here is a sampling of the ways that the Cardinal Green Athletics program aims to engage fans, students, and other community members in its sustainability efforts:

1) Send pre-game emails to all season ticket holders, single game ticket holders, and students with blurbs about sustainability
2) Student volunteers help with pre-game setup and outreach as well as tabling during games
3) Include Sustainability information and tips on the Cardinal Green Athletics website, the Sustainable Stanford website, and newsletters. More details are at these sites: www.gostanford.com/sustainability http://sustainable.stanford.edu/cardinal-green/conservation-campaigns/winter-campaign-recyclemania/sustainability-game-day-challenge
4) Post Tweets by @SustainStanford to encourage people to come to the sustainability-themed games
5) Have basketball team members pose with RecycleMania signage to help promote the campaign and encourage attendance at sustainability-themed basketball games
6) Place Sustainable Stanford table at main entrance during sustainability-themed games to talk to fans about recycling and composting when they enter
7) Set up A-frame signs with sustainability factoids around the concourse for sustainability-themed games
8) Provide Red Coats (ushers) with training and “pocket guides” of what items go in which bins to enable them to help fans with sorting throughout the season if needed.
9) Select audience members to participate in sustainability trivia twice throughout each game
10) Show sustainability factoids on screen during game timeouts and videos at halftime
11) Have on-court host wear Cardinal Green t-shirt during sustainability games

Stanford's Cardinal Green Athletics has been showcased in the following articles:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.