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Sports Facilties Can Be Earth Friendly

By Sal Ruibal and Jodi Upton (USA Today) - May 31, 2006

What can the sports world do to lessen effects of global warming? Making NASCAR fans take a bus to the superspeedway on Sundays is not going to make much of a dent. But sports’ greatest contribution might be in setting an example for other segments of the economy.

Germany, host of the FIFA World Cup 2006 soccer tournament that begins June 9, has created a “Green Goal” program that ties environmental action to the event. The aim is to make the World Cup “climate neutral” by neutralizing the estimated 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases created by the event.

The three biggest solar-powered facilities in the soccer world will be the stadiums in Kaiserslautern, Dortmund and Nuremberg. The green building trend is also taking root in the USA, where seven sports projects have achieved gold-level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, including a Haverford (Pa.) College athletic center, the Detroit Lions headquarters and training center, the Utah Olympic Skating Oval and the Morgan Hill, Calif., Aquatic Center, with more being evaluated.

“I believe educational institutions can be among the leaders in creating energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and beautiful buildings on our campuses,” Haverford President Thomas Tritton says. By Sal Ruibal and Jodi Upton