How is the NCAA Tournament Green

19 Mar

Final Four Green

NCAA Tournament Beneficial and Green

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament lost some of its green factor when Notre Dame was squeaked out in the first round, which makes most Americans either very happy or devastated.   That aside, and before I get to the green portion of this article,  it should also be noted that the economy is probably not suffering further setback to the tune of $1.8 billion in lost productivity or much more as you may have been reading in many major publications, as claimed John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.  Actually there are many benefits as I see it:

  1. Local economies where the games are held are boosted by $8 million from tourists and fans.
  2. Ad revenues will generate well over $500 million (and this will be a bad year for ads).
  3. Host Universities will make about $600,000 each.
  4. It relieves stress and builds camaraderie in the office, which helps productivity and trust.
  5. Helps people forget about the economy for a little while.
  6. Many people will win the office pool or maybe the multiple thousands to millions of dollar prizes available, which will undoubtedly spark some local spending, at least at the pub.

Sources: Fast Company, Mashable

But is the NCAA Tournament green? I don’t know how many brackets have been printed out, or how much carbon dioxide is being emitted from the athletes, the environmental cost of transportation, how many toilets were flushed, etc.  But I do know that plenty of the schools are leaders on the green front by educating, building green buildings, creating recycling and energy saving programs as well as being on the cutting edge of research that will help build our economy through new jobs and new industries.  Here are a few things that are happening that help make the NCAA green:

  • Twenty two schools in the tournament have signed on to the Presidents’ Climate Commitment (whether you believe in Climate Change or not it helps the bottom line on several levels with the right approach).
  • Here is a link to some of the things the top conferences are doing environmental:  NCAA Schools Big On Environment.
  • Students are asking for and moving towards courses in sustainability and the environment.  For example, UC San Diego had a 92% increase in Environmental Engineering majors in 2009.
  • Universities such as UC Berkely, UC Irvine, University of Maryland have dedicated websites to Sustainability:
  • The Report Card is an independent organization designed to identify colleges and universities that are leading by example on sustainability and tells you how and why.
  • Many universities are leading the front on scientific discoveries such as scientist form Stanford who recently discovered some processes that may lead to the development of new types of biodegradable, biocompatible plastics.
  • Purdue is positioning itself to be a global leader in energy with their Discovery Park.

There are many steps these schools are taking to make the world a cleaner, better, more sustainable place for us and future generations.  I can’t say how green the NCAA Tournament is (maybe you know).  But I do know the Universities are on the leading edge of new technologies and leading by example in many areas – this is our future.

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