The United States Tennis Association is proud to announce that the 2012 US Open marks the beginning of the fifth year of its US Open environmental initiatives program. Since the program’s launch in 2008, the USTA’s efforts to lessen the US Open’s impact on the environment has resulted in:
- Diverting over 570 tons of US Open waste saving over 1,100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere.
- Recycling approximately 1 million plastic bottles.
- Welcoming over 1.5 million fans to the US Open via mass transit.
- Since 2008, the USTA has offset enough electricity to power 600 homes for one year.
The USTA’s environmental program is constantly evolving and seeking innovative ways to reduce the impact the US Open has on the environment. Some of the new initiatives for 2012 are as follows:
- Green Sports Alliance - Earlier this year the USTA became a member of the prestigious Green Sports Alliance; a unique collaboration between sports leagues, venues, teams, and environmental experts all focused on enhancing their environmental performance. Through these relationships, the USTA has the opportunity to share some of its best practices as well as learn valuable strategies that will accelerate the sporting world’s environmental evolution.
- Player travel to the US Open - Viridian Energy, a socially responsible energy company, will supply Green-e certified Sterling Planet carbon offsets acquired from the Greater Bedford Landfill Gas Utilization Project located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts to offset the estimated 2.15 million miles players travel by air as well as the 134,000 miles they travel on the ground to get to the 2012 US Open.
- 2012 US Open Lanyards made from 2011 US Open tennis ball cans – The 26,000 lanyards used and sold at the 2012 US Open were each manufactured in part using the tennis ball cans collected at the 2011 US Open.
- Expansion of composting program for fan waste – At the 2011 US Open, the USTA expanded its composting program to include not only the organic waste from the kitchens, but also the fan waste from the Food Village. As a result of this pilot program, the USTA collected 88 tons of waste and turned it into compost for landscape and farming uses. For 2012, the USTA has expanded this program to also include the eateries located in and around Arthur Ashe Stadium.
- Hess to supply Green-e Certified RECs – Hess, the US Open’s energy provider, will supply Green-e certified wind renewable energy certificates to match the electricity generated during the 2012 US Open.
The US Open has been in the forefront for green initiatives at sporting events and in encouraging fans to help preserve the environment. In collaboration with environmental consultant eco evolutions, llc as well as with partners the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Billie Jean King’s GreenSlam, and new for 2012, the Green Sports Alliance, a group of leading environmental organizations, the USTA will once again be working toward reducing the impact that the US Open has on the environment. In addition to the initiatives described above, the USTA will continue to expand on existing elements of its green initiatives program.
Green Initiatives at the 2012 US Open
- The USTA will continue its fan waste recycling program with a one-to-one ratio of trash and recycling receptacles throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
- The USTA collects the tennis balls used during the matches and player’s practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and donate to various community and youth organizations throughout the United States.
- From the kitchens at the US Open, over 12,000 gallons of food grease will be converted into biodiesel fuel and 21,000 pounds of food will be donated to the community.
- Over 80 tons of food and fan waste will be collected to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses.
- To encourage fans who attend the US Open to utilize mass transit, Esurance, official car insurance of the US Open, will award 150 fans a $4.50 MetroCard each day during the two-week event.
- The 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area are comprised of 100% recycled material.
- 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.
Food & Service Ware
- All service ware in the US Open Food Village and in Arthur Ashe Stadium eateries is 100 percent compostable.
- Utensils, plates, cups, etc. are comprised of bio-based materials.
- Stonyfield Café located in the US Open Food Village, will feature a grab-and-go dining option serving healthy food—fast. Options are all-natural and/or organic and locally grown.
- 2012 US Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official 2012 US Open program.
- NRDC’s Simple Steps (environmental tips) will be featured in the Daily Drawsheet as well as communicated through US Open social media channels.
US Open Merchandise
- At the US Open Collection merchandise locations, fans will receive with their purchase a US Open souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple-use with a “Recycle and Reuse” message printed on the bottom.
- The US Open Collection will feature for sale a cinch backpack made from recycled plastic bottles as well as a reusable tote made from 80 percent post-consumer waste, notepads printed on recycled paper, and journals and notecard cases constructed from 100 percent recycled paperboard and 100 percent recycled post-consumer and post-industrial paper product.