Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
IN-4: Green Athletics

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Behn Jang
Program Coordinator, Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities and Operations
"---" 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 No
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 No
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 University of Alberta’s green athletics initiatives are an ongoing focus area of the Waste Diversion Working Group (WDWG) and make up part of this group’s annual work plan. The WDWG comprises staff from athletics, Facilities and Operations, the Sustainability Council and others who work to advance zero waste and sustainability efforts at the university.

The WDWG initially came to focus on green athletics from a broader “Zero Waste events” perspective. This led to changes to compostable concession take-away containers, special signage for special and athletic events, and community engagement efforts such as public service announcements at hockey games; the creation of a Recycling Street Team within the Sustainability Council’s volunteer program further supported these efforts by providing waste education and monitoring at hockey games.

Subsequently, these efforts have expanded to include the Green Spaces program’s Athletics certification. These efforts are further described below.


The Zero Waste system has been implemented in the Physical Activity & Wellness (PAW) Centre and the Van Vliet Physical Education Centre (East, West, and Universiade Pavilion), which house multiple athletics events. Food vendor containers are either recyclable or compostable (e.g. popcorn bags, drink cups, napkins) at athletic event concessions.


The Recycling Street Team, composed of student volunteers who are part of the Sustainability Council Volunteer Program, conducts community engagement activities during athletic events. An announcement is made at the beginning of these events to remind attendees of the efforts to minimize waste production and to sort waste correctly while attending athletic events. The Zero Waste bins inside the venue (e.g. arena) have signage specific to athletics concession food items, and they are monitored by a volunteer during the event, who engages with community members as they are using the Zero Waste bins.


The Green Spaces for Athletics certification helps Varsity Athletics teams adopt sustainable practices and earn recognition for their efforts. Participating teams make a collective commitment to reduce resource use, take steps to reduce waste, support inclusivity, and improve the overall sustainability of their day to day operations and special events


The Physical Activity & Wellness Centre on the North Campus is rated at 4 Green Globes and houses the Wilson Climbing Centre, which is open for UAlberta students, the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation for academic purposes, Recreation Services programming, guest drop-in access, a Youth Club/Junior Team, school groups, private lessons, events and competitions. Competitions in the past year include the Alberta Climbing Association (ACA) Youth Boulder Provincials.


For the North Campus, the university's maintenance applies these best practices to sports and athletic fields:
- Irrigation frequency: every other day; approximately 30 minutes time/zone.
- The implementation of the Integrated Pest Management Program, where the use of chemicals as a control method is always considered as the last resort.

On South Campus, the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation only uses chemicals on the Premier Grass Field, the competition playing field for the Golden Bears and Pandas Soccer teams. The field is sand based, has superior drainage, and is equipped with a full irrigation system. It is only fertilized 4-5 times a year and runs on a watering schedule of 3 times a week, periodically adjusting for weather. There is no chemical weed management, as weeds are picked by hand - this ensures better field health, which is high priority for a competition field.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:


Murray Brice
Landscape Maintenance & Construction Supervisor
Grounds Services
Facilities & Operations

Sobia Samad
Zero Waste Program Coordinator
Buildings, Grounds, and Environmental Services
Facilities & Operations

Bruce Bourguignon
Operations Supervisor
Saville Community Sports Centre
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation

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.