The Greening of Sports

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( — January 10, 2018) — Concerns about the harm we may be doing the planet are increasingly at the top of the agenda in all walks of life. Potential employees will check out the corporate social responsibility of a record before deciding whether or not to take a job, and consumers have repeatedly shown their willingness to vote with their purses and wallets, happily paying more for goods or services that have solid green credentials behind them.

The trend is now spreading to leisure activities with both professional sports teams and sporting venues aimed at the general public working hard to address concerns about their environmental impact and implement green strategies.


The Boston Red Sox began their greening program back in 2008. Today 37 percent of the energy needed to run the stadium is supplied by solar panels. The venue also includes special solar-powered trash compactors. The Cleveland Indians installed a wind turbine in their stadium and have a highly efficient recycling program that manages to reclaim around a quarter of all the waste generated by fans during home games.

In Miami, the Marlins retrofitted the plumbing system in their stadium to reduce water use by half and altered the surrounding landscape to reduce the amount of water required for irrigation by a whopping 60 percent.


With an estimated 30,000 golf courses around the world and 16 million regular participants, the lush green grass and wide-open spaces that players have come to love have long been associated with water wastage. In recent years, numerous innovations have been introduced to combat this. Many greens are now irrigated with recycled wastewater, and the industry is also developing salt-tolerant grasses that can thrive on untreated water. Technology is also playing a role with ground sensors telling ground keepers exactly where and when to water so that only those areas that require irrigation receive it.

One of the best ways for a course to ensure it is as eco-friendly as possible is to employ a highly-experienced golf course management company to run it. Such companies are not only able to maximize the amount of profit a course can generate by encouraging members to spend but can also implement the best environmental practices, combining sound maintenance and efficient water usage with a philosophy that protects the landscape, wildlife and, of course, the golfers themselves.

Formula One

Motor racing may be far from the top of the list when you think about the world’s most environmentally friendly sports, but in recent years the world of Formula One has great strides towards developing far greater ecological balance.

In 2010, all major teams involved in the sport made a commitment to dramatically reduce their carbon emissions within three years. By 2013, studies showed that the cars themselves produced 24 percent less carbon thanks to an increase in fuel efficiency and the use of systems which make use of the kinetic energy generated when a vehicle is braking.

Further improvements were seen when the standard 2.4-liter V8 engines fitted to all cars were replaced with 1.6-liter V6 turbocharged units. All this means it is now possible for a car to finish a complete race using less than 100kg of fuel – an overall reduction of 35 percent on previous power units.