USTA Continues Expansion of Green Initiatives

The US Open, which took place last week at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center, annually hosts more than 700,000 fans during the two weeks of the event.  Alec Baldwin and Billie Jean King continued serving as the US Open’s Green Initiatives spokespersons in a comprehensive awareness campaign to promote environmental consciousness among fans.  This year, the USTA launched a pilot program introducing service wear in the US Open Food Village that is 100 percent compostable.

“The commitment and expansion of the US Open Green Initiatives will ensure that the world’s highest annually-attended event is the most environmentally conscious,” said Jon Vegosen, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA, and Chairman of the US Open.  “These environmental endeavors over the past three years have kept the USTA, the US Open and tennis fans in the forefront of the global effort to preserve the environment.”

Green Initiatives at the 2011 US Open included:

  • Consumer waste recycling program to recycle 100 percent of plastics and cans used during the event
  • USTA collects the 70,000 tennis balls used and donates them to various community and youth organizations throughout the US
  • Wilson tennis ball cans are made from a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled PET and are 100 percent recyclable
  • From the kitchens, 985 gallons of food grease will be converted into bio-diesel fuel and 20,000 pounds of food will be donated to the community
  • At least 50 tons of food waste will be collected and turned into compost for landscape and farm use
  • Hybrid vehicles will make up 60 percent of the transportation fleet used for the event
  • The 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area will be composed of 90 percent post-consumer waste
  • All US Open-related printed materials (US Open media guide, marketing collateral, tickets and the Daily Drawsheet, among others) will be composed of at least 30 percent post-consumer waste
  • US Open tickets are printed on paper comprised of 30 percent post-consumer waste, and parking books, parking visors and coupon books are printed on paper comprised of 10 – 15 percent post-consumer waste
  • 100 percent of paper towel dispensers have been replaced with motion-sensor dispensers and all paper towels are comprised of 40 percent post-consumer waste
  • GDF Suez, the US Open’s energy provider, will supply Green-e Certified wind Renewable Energy Certificates to match the electricity consumption during the 2011 US Open
  • IBM, which powers USOpen.org, will continue to utilize six servers, down from 60 in 2008. Their energy consumption has been reduced by 40 percent and their cooling demand reduced by 48 percent
  • All service ware in the US Open Food Village is 100 percent compostable
  • Utensils, plates, cups, etc. are comprised of bio-based materials

Since its inception, the US Open’s Green Initiatives have incrementally increased the amount of materials being recycled, composted, and the number of hybrid vehicles transporting players and VIPs. The US Open has developed a comprehensive, eco-friendly program to positively influence the environmental awareness of players and fans, as well as developing effective ways to preserve the environment.  With changes like these, other large events can become eco-friendly too.

Source:US Open