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U of M green initiative receives national attention

New energy study forces athletic department to think sustainably smart
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A new report cites University of Minnesota Athletics “as a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency.” Collegiate Game Changes: How Campus Sport is Going Green, a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Green Sports Alliance and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education points out that over 200 college sports programs, including U-M are prioritizing “green practices” such as holding energy efficiency audits and water conservation upgrades. The NRDC report also used statistics from a University of Arizona survey this year submitted by 148 institutions: 216 collegiate sports departments installed recycling infrastructure in their facilities; 146 have invested in more energy-efficient practices; and 122 uses greener cleaning products. It further stated that the report is “not a comprehensive list of all U.S. collegiate sports sustainability initiatives, nor does it rank sports greening programs.”

Minnesota is one of 10 detailed case studies featured in the report that points out how these sports programs “employing more sustainable techniques to manage their energy, water, waste and purchasing.” The athletics department began providing recycling bins inside on-campus facilities in 1998, and stepped up its sustainability efforts in 2003 as the school began construction of its new football stadium. “We’ve been working hard on all of our sustainability platforms for the last couple of years,” noted Jeff Seifriz, the school’s athletics facilities director last week in a MSR phone interview. As a result, the stadium “has become a catalyst for broader greening efforts across U-M’s athletic facilities” since it opened in 2009, states the NRDC report. Continue Reading →

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