Yale Presents Sustainable Athletics Goals at NCAA Convention

Representatives from Yale outlined their efforts to develop a sustainability plan for the University’s athletics program at the recent National Collegiate Athletic Association convention in Washington, D.C.

Sara Smiley Smith, a doctoral candidate at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Project Manager at the Yale Office of Sustainability, spoke at a panel entitled, “Best Green Practices at Work on Campus,” and described Yale’s goals to operate athletics more sustainably.

Yale’s efforts to make its athletics program more sustainable include:

  • Developing a strategic sustainability plan for athletics that will offer short- and long-term suggestions for improvements that can be made in operations and practices throughout the program.
  • Establishing a set of green standards for Yale athletic events that in part reflect best practices researched at other institutions.
  • Implementing collaborative efforts with student athletes, including creating sustainability partnerships with each varsity team in the coming term.
  • Using the lessons learned through the development of the strategic plan for Yale athletics to create a model that is measurable, transferable and adaptable.
  • Creating a database of best practices collected from a variety of sources so that institutions interested in improving the sustainability of their athletic departments will have an accessible source of the best knowledge and experience.

“We were pleased that Yale was invited to participate in this NCAA panel to discuss how athletics programs around the country can be more sustainable in their operations,” Smiley Smith said. “We hope that our efforts at Yale will help other institutions as they seek ways to make their athletic operations greener.”

Joining Smiley Smith in Washington were Barbara Chesler, senior associate athletic director at Yale and liaison to the sustainability office and Bryant Blount, an intern with the athletics program. Yale received an anonymous gift in 2008 that has enabled a cooperative partnership between the Office of Sustainability, led by Julie Newman, and Yale Athletics to explore opportunities to make the program more sustainable.

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Media Contact

Tom Conroy: tom.conroy@yale.edu, 203-432-1345