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Global Sport Goes Green

by Katie Cross
November 22, 2019

There is no Planet B.

In our mission to analyze issues impacting sport today and in the future — the Global Sport Institute is committed to the growth, education, and application of sustainable practices within our day-to-day operations. Highlighted below are some of the actions GSI has undergone in order to contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.

Sparky the ASU mascot stands in front of different waste bins with a plate.

Sparky properly diverts waste via Zero Waste ASU Instagram. (@zerowasteasu)



Certified Event Planners

This fall, the GSI events team of Kendall Jones (Special Events Manager) and Katie Cross (Special Projects Assistant) underwent a specialized Sustainable Event Planning Certification hosted by University Sustainability Practices (USP), Zero Waste ASU, and Aramark. The program equips GSI to to make more ecologically and socially conscious decisions in areas related to catering, giveaways, guest communications, procurement, and waste diversion during our events.

At the conclusion of an event, GSI grades its efforts as either bronze, silver, or gold. These efforts are indexed inside a sustainability resource toolkit in which different actions earn different point values. For example, providing fruit instead of a classic desert option or not serving red meat earns one point while providing compost bins or incentivizing guests to use mass-transit earns three points. The more points, the higher the sustainability certification level.

Since the beginning of the 2019–2020 academic year, all three of our events have been sustainability certified GOLD! Some of our newest efforts include using local, responsibly sourced caterers, messaging our attendees to bring reusable water bottles and service ware, providing more plant-based food options, and undergoing our own composting efforts during on-campus events. Every effort counts!

 Theme Launch Luncheon, took place in August 2019.

GSI’s first sustainability gold certified event, Sport and The Body: Theme Launch Luncheon, took place in August 2019.



ASU Blue Bag Program

Have you ever stood before a recycle bin — item in-hand and confused look on your face? The more confused you are, the more likely the item will end up in the landfill. GSI works to educate proper recycling practices to its staff members. Some items, however, are not meant for basic recycling facilities.

In order to capture these difficult-to-recycle items, ASU has implemented the “Blue Bag” program on all of their main campuses. Here are some of the items that ASU can recycle via this program:

• batteries (dry cell, non-rechargeable)

• coffee pods (one-time use)

• energy bar or candy wrappers

• chip bags

• small eWaste (such as calculators and MP3 players)

• small ink and toner cartridges

• spent pens & markers

• used plastic gift cards

• water filters

GSI makes an effort to collect items like these and connect them with the Blue Bag program on the Tempe campus.

GreenDevil Network

GSI Special Events Manager, Kendall Jones, is a new member of the Green Devil Network, a collective of like-minded faculty and staff that work to grow the culture of sustainability at ASU. According to GreenDevil Network’s Tempe co-chair, Katie Schumacher, it “provides staff members with an opportunity to advocate for sustainability in everyday workplace decisions and share sustainability tips and resources with other members.” Kendall’s inclusion within the program will continue to elevate GSI’s practices over time.

Team of Zero Waste Ambassadors at an ASU basketball game.(Photo from @zerowasteasu)

Team of Zero Waste Ambassadors at an ASU basketball game.(@zerowasteasu)



The Future

Sustainability will continue to be embedded into GSI goals and operational practices across the board. As we anticipate growing staff and new office spaces during the spring semester, we will continually strive for positive change by undergoing staff sustainability pledges, office space certifications, and honoring ASU’s commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship. We are proud to take part in these efforts to preserve our planet, our people and by extension through sport — it’s play.

Katie Cross serves as the Special Projects Assistant for the Global Sport Institute. She aids in the organization and execution of events and projects across programs. She is pursuing her dual undergraduate degrees in Sports Business and Sustainability with an emphasis in Urban Dynamics. She is expected to graduate in the Spring of 2021.