How To Use This Guide

Welcome to the NRDC Greening Advisor for Collegiate Sports, a free guide to greening athletics and recreation. Below is some advice for how to navigate this guide and how to best use it to advance sports greening at your institution.

Getting around the guide:

>> Using the Menu Bar: Use the menu bar across the top of this guide to access all of the information, advice, and resources that make up this tool. The menu bar is divided into two main categories:

1. The top light green menu bar includes guidance on establishing a successful sports greening program structure. It covers the basics for how to build a sports greening program that will last and be effective (e.g. where to start, who to involve, funding, tracking progress, outreach, etc.).

2. The lower dark green menu bar includes technical environmental expertise relating to sports operations. It identifies the primary environmental impact areas that present great opportunities for sports greening initiatives (e.g. energy, water, waste, chemicals, etc.).

>> Home Page: The Home Page features a selection of green sports videos from campuses around the country. Clicking “Professional Sports Greening Advisors” at the top left corner of the Home Page will take you to the professional sports editions of the NRDC Greening Advisor. Return to the Home Page from any page in the guide by clicking “Collegiate Sports Greening Advisor Home” at the top left corner of the page.

>> Ideas for Student Involvement: Students are a valuable partner for successful sports greening initiatives. Look out for the many ideas for student-led projects that can advance your program on many pages throughout the guide.

>> Look out for the *AASHE STARS* sections: This guide is integrated with AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The many sports greening initiatives recommended in this guide can help advance any institutional efforts to attain or improve your institution’s STARS rating. Look out for the STARS sections on many pages of this guide, which indicate when you can earn STARS points for this work. Use the STARS 2.0 Technical Manual to learn more.

>> Fast Track Tips: Don’t know where to start? Check out the Fast Track Tips sidebar on the right side of the page for sports greening project ideas that can help fast track your sports greening program.

>> Sports Greening Program Examples: There are a handful of sports greening program logos featured on the right side of the page. These few examples are just a snapshot of the variety of successful initiatives across the country. Click any of the logos to visit their website and learn more about their work to date.

>> @NRDCGreenSports Twitter Feed: Keep an eye out for the latest tweets on recent greening accomplishments in sports greening from the NRDC Sports Project. These are featured in a sidebar on the right side of the page. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for all of the top news across professional and collegiate sports greening.

About this guide:

>> Audience: Anyone involved in collegiate athletics and/or recreation sports, as a participant or spectator: students, varsity athletes, club athletes, intramural athletes, and users of campus sports facilities; coaches, staff, faculty and other interested employees; campus partners, vendors and sponsors; alumni, fans, and other members of the community. Anyone passionate about collegiate sustainability.

>> Target: There are greening opportunities for every type of facility within your athletics and recreation departments (and for every building on your campus), from outdoor tennis courts and soccer fields to locker rooms and coaches’ offices. Think broad!

>> Scope: Sports greening is much bigger than recycling at tailgates, though that can be a great place to build interest. “Greening” is the process of reviewing day-to-day operations and procurement policies with an eye toward reducing environmental impacts. Sports greening involves everything from energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste diversion to buying products made with recycled materials, alternative transportation, greener building design and operations, and public environmental education, among many other things.

>> History: NRDC published the first Greening Advisor in 2008, in partnership with Major League Baseball. It was awarded the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Merit Award and named the “most comprehensive greening resource ever compiled.” There are now NRDC Greening Advisors for each of the major professional sports leagues. NRDC released this collegiate edition of the award-winning NRDC Greening Advisor in 2014.

>> About the NRDC Sports Project: Since 2004, NRDC has been a leader in the greening of professional and collegiate sports. NRDC is the principal environmental advisor to Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), and the United States Tennis Association (USTA), NASCAR and one of the advisors to the National Football League (NFL), the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and National Lacrosse League (NLL). NRDC’s work greening North American sports leagues is the most comprehensive and successful sports greening initiative in the world. Learn more at