There are a variety of ways to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of varsity and club team travel for off-campus competition. Review the suggestions below and contact any staff on your campus who might help identify opportunities for promoting more efficient and greener travel to your sports facilities and to away games. The departments with knowledgeable staff may include Athletics, Recreation, Transportation, Facilities, and the Sustainability Office, among others.
Consider streamlining varsity travel by identifying opportunities for teams to travel together when competing or training at the same locations. This increased travel efficiency can save your athletics department money while benefiting the environment and public health by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
You might consider combining men’s and women’s teams, first varsity squads and third varsity squads, varsity and club teams, or other combinations in order to achieve more efficient team travel. There are a few opportunities for optimizing team travel:
Combine small teams to ensure that you can fill a medium-sized bus and optimize your fuel efficiency and travel costs per athlete (e.g. combine women’s and men’s squash teams on the same bus instead of ordering two medium-sized buses that are half full)
For larger teams, consolidate travel in one large bus rather than filling several medium-sized individual buses with one team in each bus. This optimizes fuel efficiency and travel costs per athlete.
GREENER TRAVEL OPTIONS
There are a variety of greener team travel options:
When traveling to locations close to campus, consider public transit, bicycling or walking to the venue as a team. This can serve as a good preliminary team warm up as well as the most cost effective travel option.
If the team is traveling individually, more common for club team travel, encourage carpooling wherever possible to minimize the number of vehicles needed (and money spent on gas). Also encourage coaches, trainers and other staff to carpool to away games.
When scheduling flights, if possible, select nonstop flights for team travel. Airplanes release the most greenhouse gas emissions during the takeoff and landing portions of a flight. By choosing nonstop flights you only need to take off and land once (rather than two or three times with different planes). Nonstop flights also shorten your teams’ overall travel time.
*HELPS EARN AASHE STARS POINTS*
Promoting more efficient transportation options throughout athletics and recreation can help your institution earn up to 7 points within the “Transportation” subcategory of AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Work with sustainability and facilities staff on your campus to support any institutional efforts to attain or improve your institution’s STARS rating. Use the STARS 2.0 Technical Manual to learn more.
AASHE: Resources on Sustainable Campus Transportation
The University of Vermont: Certification for Sustainability Transportation
EPA: Strategies & Analysis: Travel Efficiency
EPA: Transportation Resources