ESPN has announced that its annual awards show, the ESPYs, will be carbon neutral and achieve zero waste-to-landfill for the fifth and sixth consecutive years, respectively.
To achieve carbon neutrality, the sports network says it will apply energy conservation strategies to minimize the use of fossil fuels and prevent pollution. After reducing energy consumption wherever possible through special applications, the remaining greenhouse gas emissions will be mitigated through carbon offsets.
Some carbon reduction strategies include:
· Solar power to be used on red carpet, press center, golf course.
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· Multi-passenger vehicles instead of individual limos to reduce vehicle miles driven.
· Hybrid and flex fuel vehicles used for other transfers.
· Energy efficient electronics used wherever possible.
· Bioplastics instead of petroleum-based plastics for all disposable foodservice products.
· Waste grease collected from venue caterer and concessionaire and turned into biodiesel.
· Hydrogen fuel cell to supply power to the Security Tent.
ESPN says that in 2009, some 75 percent of vehicles used to transport show talent and VIPs to the ESPYs were hybrid or flex fuel vehicles.
From 2009 through 2012, ESPY shows offset their carbon emissions through investments in forest conservation programs.
For the 2013 ESPYs, ESPN says it will divert at least 90 percent of the waste from every event surrounding the awards show, which includes two functions attended by more than 3,000 people and the ESPN Celebrity Golf Classic, as well as all the hotels. ESPN says it will accomplish this goal through new waste reduction and recovery strategies, strategic partnerships, ensuring proper lifecycle management of materials through careful procurement and extensive recycling efforts.
Some reduction techniques include:
· Set and décor elements designed for reuse and locally rented items used when possible.
· Purchasing consumables locally in bulk to reduce excess packaging waste.
· Reusable water bottles and refilling stations to eliminate over 2,000 individual single-use bottles.
· Necessary disposables carefully selected to ensure maximum recycled content, ability to be recycled or composted, and use of renewable and sustainable materials in the manufacturing process.
· Extensive program to recover every possible recyclable material.
· Beyond basic recycling of paper and beverage containers, construction and demolition debris, cardboard, food waste, electronics, even cooking grease will also be recycled.
In 2012, through comprehensive recycling, composting and responsible purchasing, the event generated half the total waste 2010 and 84 percent of all waste was diverted from the landfill**.**
ESPN says it also has developed an environmental awareness campaign to encourage individual participation beyond the scope of the event, inspire future productions and create lasting impact. It will employ staff specially trained to explain and implement environmental efforts and sustainable products will be featured throughout the production, with the environmental benefit of using each item explained.
The 2013 ESPYs will be televised live from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Lve on Wednesday, July 17, at 9 pm ET on ESPN.
ESPN's efforts are part of what may seem like a surprising, but growing, trend aimed at increasing the sustainability of professional sporting events. For the past two years, BASF has teamed up with the Seattle Mariners to put on Sustainable Saturdays at Safeco Field, which aims to divert ballpark waste from the landfill. The season-long initiative features BASF-sponsored zero-waste stations throughout the ballpark to recycle plastic bottles and compost food waste. And earlier this year, auto-racing giant NASCAR announced several initiatives, including utilizing UPS' Trackside Services, which operate with a truck equipped with a diesel exhaust fluid (D.E.F.) system used to reduce exhaust particulate matter during races; introducing the use of biofuels, incorporating renewable energy into raceways and encouraging NASCAR teams to recycle; and implementing a tree-planting program aimed at capturing 100 percent of the emissions produced during races.