Sustainability in U.S. NCAA Division III athletics departments (2015)

This study provides a baseline of environmental prioritizing, planning, decisions-making, and initiative implementation within NCAA DIII athletic departments. A sample of 348 DIII athletics departments were surveyed; 141 returned the survey, 78 had complete responses.

The findings show:

- Most of the respondents (63%) believed university or college personnel prioritize environmental and sustainability initiatives as a high or very high priority (72%). In contrast, only 32% of the DI respondents believed that environmental and sustainability initiatives were a high or very high priority within the athletic department. - Nearly 82% of personnel in DIII athletics departments stated they did not have plan in place, but 21% stated they were actively engaged in the process. - 94% of the respondents stated they did not have a green team in place (only 4% had one in place and 2% are planning for one). - 79.5% of respondents believed that decision makers in athletics departments have a positive perspective related to environmental initiatives. - Most believed that, overall, there would be a slightly negative to no effect on the bottom line; only 17% believed there would be an improvement in the bottom line. - 57.7% of the DIII respondents reported that they have no plan to work with fans about environmental issues or to gauge their concern for environmental issues. - Efforts related to recycling and energy conservation were emphasized the most for DIII athletic programs. - The most common DIII initiative was use of efficient light bulbs and sensors to conserve energy when buildings/rooms are not in use. The use or purchase of alternative energy was minimal. - Recycling in the office was reported to be moderate. Recycling of bottles and cans at events was common. - The use of low flow systems such as faucets, showers, and toilets was common. - Purchasing and employee education were in common. - Efforts related to fan travel and working with sponsors/advertisers was uncommon.

CITE: Casper, J. M., & Pfahl, M. E. (2015). Environmental sustainability practices in U.S. NCAA Division III athletics departments. International Journal of Event Management Research, 10(1), 12–36.

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