U.S. Open Tennis "Goes Green"
In keeping with “green revolution” sweeping the world, the USTA has instituted a series of high-impact, long-term environmental initiatives at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the 2008 U.S. Open. Planned programs include:
• Partnering with NRDC to distribute 100,000 wallet-cards containing Eco-Tips on how to be more environmentally friendly.
• Public Service Announcements featuring Billie Jean King, Venus Williams and Bob and Mike Bryan will be played on video boards and on the U.S. Open website.
• A newly-designed US Open green logo reminding fans to reduce, reuse and recycle will be promoted in the US Open program, the Daily Drawsheet, US Open website and video board messaging.
• Partnering with Evian to launch a plastic bottle and aluminum can recycling program including 80 Evian receptacles around the grounds with the opportunity to recycle more than 500,000 plastic bottles and 20,000 aluminum cans.
• After the US Open, approximately 20,000 Wilson tennis ball cans will be recycled. The 60,000 Wilson tennis balls used during the US Open will be reused for NTC programming and then donated to community/youth programs.
• Constellation Energy, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s electricity supplier, will supply Green-e Certified wind Renewable Energy Certificates to match the electricity consumption during the 2008 US Open.
• IBM, which powers the US Open website, reduced the number of servers it used from 60 to nine in 2007 and is consolidating the number of servers to six in 2008, further reducing energy consumption and cooling demand.
• Lexus, the “Official Vehicle of the US Open,” will provide player transportation services during the event with hybrid vehicles comprising 20% of the overall fleet.
• Promoting mass-transit by launching a MetroCard Fan Giveaway in partnership with NRDC. Each day during the two-week event, 100 fans will win a $4 MetroCard to encourage the use of public transportation to and from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
• The 2+ million napkins used by tennis fans during the tournament will be comprised of 90% post-consumer waste.
• The official US Open program, the Daily Drawsheet and US Open marketing material will be printed on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council -- guaranteeing environmentally responsible forest management.
US Open Merchandise
• Heidi Klum and Billie Jean King will design two of the 100% organic cotton t-shirts. Additionally, the collection will feature hats comprised of 50% post-consumer waste (each hat will contain the equivalent of two one-liter plastic bottles).
• A portion of the proceeds from the US Open organic collection will be donated to Unisphere, Inc., the non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and preserving Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home of the US Open.
• US Open merchandise stores will feature a new souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple uses with a “recycle and reuse” message printed on the bottom. In addition, a reusable tote bag will be available for $5.
These initiatives are a positive, albeit small, step in the right direction towards preserving the environment for future generations. However, by promoting their programs, the USTA can also serve to inspire others inside and outside the sports world to make a difference in the world around them. As a result, we can all continue to have fun playing tennis and enjoying the world around us forever...