This study examined the sustainability practices, organizational strategies and personal perspectives of American intercollegiate athletics department personnel in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.
A survey was administered to 97 athletic department personnel at different schools, most of whom are responsible for sustainability initiatives at their universities to assess awareness levels and concern for environmental issues and the strategies and practices at work in their respective athletics departments.
- 79% indicated they did not know if the president of their university signed the U.S. University and College President’s Climate Action Agreement - 89% of the respondents indicated that their athletics department did not currently have a sustainability plan - When asked who would be (or is) in charge of sustainability initiatives, 52% indicated that it would be within the athletics department, while 38% indicated that it would be part of a campus-wide plan - 15% of the athletics departments were actively considering the development of a strategic sustainability plan.
- 41% had an athletics department representative who was a member of the university’s campus-wide sustainability team. Only 7% had formed such a team within the athletics department. - 33% felt environmental initiatives were negative to the bottom line, while 27% thought there would be no effect (cost neutral), with 4% feeling they would improve the bottom line. - Regarding fan loyalty, 42% indicated that sustainability plans/initiatives would have no effect, 30% thought programs would increase loyalty, and 28% did not know.
Five initiative categories were discussed in further detail: energy equipment (LED lighting, energy-saving lights), buildings and operations (LEED certifications), enviro practice (green teams, incentivizing public transport), water conservation (low-flow faucets, water capture/reuse), recycling (zero-waste).
CITE: Casper, J., Pfahl, M., & McSherry, M. (2012). Athletics department awareness and action regarding the environment: A study of NCAA athletics department sustainability practices. Journal of Sport Management, 26(1), 11-29.