John Abbott employed ‘green’ measures when they hosted men’s basketball national championship in March.
© Michael Green Photography
Participating teams travelled on carbon-friendly means of transportation, and reused and recycled to limit their use of bottled water.
Sports and sustainability aren’t typically uttered in the same breath.
During the Islander’s basketball home opener last Friday, John Abbott College was awarded the CCAA Innovation Award for incorporating environmentally protective measures when they hosted the eco-friendly 2013 CCAA men’s basketball national championship back in March.
For the Ste. Anne de Bellevue college’s athletic director Steve Shaw, applying sustainability measures in sports can be the start of something new.
“The message we`re sending for schools across the country is that this could be the start of something but the award has to be worthwhile. If so, people will continue to do this…we’re not doing it for ourselves; we’re doing it for younger generations,” he said.
The event, which hosted eight teams from five provinces and over 3000 fans over the course of four days, was bottled-water free, printing resources were tracked and reduced in favour of electronic messaging, and suppliers were selected based on ethical sources and long-term value. Meanwhile, campus groups volunteered as the ‘Green Brigade,’ food providers composted, and for the first-time ever, curb-side composting was introduced.
Participating teams were directly involved, traveling on carbon-friendly means of transportation, and reusing and recycling to limit their use of bottled water
“John Abbott's initiative to make the 2013 CCAA Men's Basketball National Championship a green event was a great demonstration of how we can all have an impact on the environment,” said Vince Amato, CCAA vice-president of marketing in a released statement. “Well-received by the teams and participants, their project should be the baseline on which future CCAA national championships are organized in terms of environmental stewardship and sustainability.”
The initiative was originally presented to the college by RPM Developpement Durable, a company which presents sustainable measures to Canadian organizations and businesses. It didn’t take too long for the committee organizing the national championship to buy in – but not without its fair share of challenges.
“You can’t teach old dogs new tricks…it was a bit new for me and everybody on the committee. We managed to get through it because we realized how important it was,” said the 60-year-old Shaw.