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US OPEN GREEN INITIATIVE PROGRAM

The US Open Tennis Championships remains the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world.  With this honor comes the responsibility of lessening the US Open’s environmental footprint and helping to create a sustainable future.  The US Open is proud to be at the forefront for green initiatives at sporting events and constantly seeks innovative ways to reduce its impact on the environment.  

Since the inception of the initiative in 2008, the USTA has diverted 1,300 tons of waste through recycling and composting, saved 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, offset enough electricity to power over 1,000 homes for one year, recycled 2.2 million plastic bottles, and entertained 2.4 million fans who have arrived via mass transit.  Each year the US Open increases the amount of waste it diverts from landfills and last year’s event had the greatest impact diverting over 60% of its waste through recycling and composting.

The following is an overview of this year’s US Open Green Initiative program.

Green Initiatives at the 2014 US Open

New Initiatives for 2014

  • The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Green Sports Alliance will supply enough carbon offsets to offset the carbon emissions generated from player travel to the event as well as from the fuel consumed on-site to run the 2014 US Open.
  • Last year’s waste will be put to good use. The compost made from the waste collected during the 2013 US Open will feed plants throughout the site at the 2014 US Open.
  • Over the past three US Opens, the USTA has continued to expand its composting program to include not only the organic waste from the kitchens, but also the fan waste from the Food Village as well as the eateries located in and around Arthur Ashe Stadium.  As a result of this program, collected 425 tons of waste and turned it into compost for landscape and farming uses.  With compostable waste and recycling collection receptacles site wide for 2014, the USTA looks forward to making an even greater impact.
  • GDF Suez, the US Open’s energy provider, will supply Green-e certified wind renewable energy certificates to match the electricity consumed during the 2014 US Open.
  • The US Open continues to collaborate with the sustainability managers of the other three Grand Slam tournaments.  All four events continue to work toward their goals of becoming models for social responsibility. 

Recycling & Composting

  • Throughout the site, all trash receptacles have been converted to compostable waste receptacles to collect the service ware comprised of bio-based materials. 
  • The USTA collects the tennis balls used during the matches and player’s practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and to donate to various community and youth organizations throughout the United States.  
  • From the kitchens at the US Open, more than 12,000 gallons of food grease will be converted into biodiesel fuel.  
  • More than 200 tons of food and fan waste will be collected to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses.

Transportation

  • The USTA will continue to welcome 60% of its fans via mass transit. 
  • The NRDC will be supplying the USTA with enough carbon offsets 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 2014 US Open.  

Paper Procurement

  • The 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area are comprised of 100% recycled material.
  • The US Open Daily is printed on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and printed on machines with dual printing capabilities. 
  • US Open Subscriber collateral is comprised of 75% PCW materials.
  • US Open tickets are printed on paper comprised of 30 percent post-consumer waste.

Food & Service Ware

  • The majority of the service ware throughout the site is compostable comprised of bio-based materials. 
  • US Open food concessionaire, Levy Restaurants, is locally sourcing 40% of its produce and ingredients for the food offered on site.
  • The US Open will donate more than 10 tons of food to the local community.

On-Site

  • All of the courts are painted with DecoColor by DecoTurf, the only sports surfacing product that is certified by Green Wise and meets strict VOC requirements.
  • The windscreens located on the fences throughout the site are vinyl coated 100% post-consumer fabric made recycled plastic bottles.
  • LED court lights have been installed on Courts 4, 5, and 6 and will save a total of 90,000 kWh; 50% more efficient than regular stadium lighting. 
  • Vendors are provided with a US Open Green Cleaning Policy specifying preferred cleaning products to be used during the US Open.

Fan Awareness

  • The Public Service Announcement, Impact, produced in collaboration with the NRDC, will continue to be shown throughout the site and on US Open digital assets encouraging fans to reduce their paper, water, and energy use so that we can all lessen our collective impact on the environment. 
  • 2014 US Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official 2014 US Open Program.
  • NRDC’s Eco-Tips (environmental tips) will be featured in the US Open Daily 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 reusable tote made from 80 percent post-consumer waste.

Outreach

  • In 2012, the USTA joined the Green Sports Alliance, an organization of sports teams, venues and leagues aimed to enhance environmental evolution of professional and collegiate sports. The US Open was a part of the fourth annual Green Sports Alliances Summit held in Santa Clara, CA in July.  This event brings together more than 500 industry stakeholders to learn from leaders at the forefront of the sports greening movement. 
  • The USTA is working closely with the hotels accommodating US Open staff and personnel to open the discussion around sustainability. 
  • The USTA is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a diverse group of organizations and individuals all sharing the same vision of building a sustainable future.  Green building elements are being incorporated into the Strategic Transformation at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.