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Collegiate athletics environmental sustainability efforts within STARS reporting

Jamee Pelcher (Department of Kinesiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Brian P. McCullough (Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station,Texas, USA)
Sylvia Trendafilova (Department of Kinesiology Recreation and Sport Studies, The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 3 December 2020

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine higher education institutions’ participation in association for the advancement of sustainability in higher education’s (AASHE’s) Green Athletics category in the sustainability tracking, assessment and rating system (STARS) sustainability report while assessing how well collegiate athletic departments engage with their respective aspects.

Design/methodology/approach

This general review used quantitative content analysis to determine the number of NCAA Divisions I–III institutions that actively report Green Athletics categories in their AASHE STARS reports. The data collection process compiled current reports from the STARS website and the National Collegiate Athletic Association database. Green Athletics categorical and accumulated point attempts and outcomes were analyzed.

Findings

Of the 335 institutions that actively use the STARS reporting tool, the NCAA accounted for 247 rated institutions of which only 50 attempted points in Green Athletics while only 21 institutions succeeded. This paper discusses the lack of participation from institutions in Green Athletics and propose an alternate to better engage collegiate athletics in STARS reporting.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first known examinations of the tangible results of collaborations on college campuses to integrate the athletic department’s sustainability efforts into the overall sustainability reporting of the institution. This study can better inform STARS on how to more fully engage college athletic departments and boost the sustainability efforts in all corners of campus.

Keywords

Citation

Pelcher, J., McCullough, B.P. and Trendafilova, S. (2021), "Collegiate athletics environmental sustainability efforts within STARS reporting", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 328-343. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-07-2020-0246

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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