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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2020

Jamee Pelcher, Brian P. McCullough and Sylvia Trendafilova

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…

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.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2020

Madeleine Orr, Brian P. McCullough and Jamee Pelcher

Given greater awareness of environmental issues and the acceleration of climate change, universities are increasingly requiring undergraduate students to complete…

Abstract

Purpose

Given greater awareness of environmental issues and the acceleration of climate change, universities are increasingly requiring undergraduate students to complete coursework in environmental issues. Research has shown that environmental courses hosted in science departments can be too challenging for students with no science background. Thus, new approaches to general environmental education at the undergraduate level are necessary. This paper aims to advance three transformative sustainability learning (TSL) interventions that leverage sport as the living laboratory for environmental education through examining green teams and in depth sport venue tours.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper details the experimental application of three TSL interventions in undergraduate sport courses.

Findings

Each intervention produced lasting benefits for several parties. Students benefit from greater exposure to sport management organizations and a hands-on learning opportunity. Sport organizations benefit from a promotional opportunity to showcase their sustainability efforts, improved sustainability practices at their facilities and the opportunity to leverage the students’ involvement for fan engagement initiatives

Research limitations/implications

The interventions presented in this paper were developed in a North American sport context, however, there is a considerable opportunity to develop similar interventions in any region where sport organizations exist.

Originality/value

Despite being one of the most universally appreciated and visible industries, the sport industry has yet to be used as a site for meaningful sustainability learning interventions. The interventions presented herein introduce the opportunity to leverage students’ love of sport for outcomes for all parties: the students, the host organization and sport fans.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Sylvia Trendafilova, Jamee Pelcher, Jeffrey Graham and Vassilios Ziakas

The purpose of this study was to examine the structure and scope of environmental sustainability efforts of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments as communicated via…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine the structure and scope of environmental sustainability efforts of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments as communicated via their websites.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative content analysis methodology guided the study. To accomplish the goal of the study, the researchers analyzed each tournament's website and each venue's website to document the environmental initiatives outlined on these pages.

Findings

Results indicated Grand Slam events focus primarily on energy and water conservation initiatives, increasing sustainable food choices and improving spectators' knowledge about environmental sustainability. Most sustainability programs fell into the first wave of sustainability efforts indicating that formalized strategic planning is largely missing.

Practical implications

By examining how Grand Slam events utilize their webpages to promote environmental sustainability, implications are drawn for not only website content but also actual event initiatives and activities. Pertinent efforts should move from a mere focus on communication to finding actionable solutions built upon the interconnectivity of events with allied sectors and the subsequent forging of cross-industry partnerships.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that Grand Slam tennis events pursue different trajectories in engaging with sustainability. This makes it important to understand in tandem their organizational conduct, strategies and communication practices. To move forward, there is a need to approach sustainability in a more holistic manner. A holistic view of how sport events engage with the environment can reveal causal patterns and points of leverage to use for initiating a change of practice toward adopting environmentally friendly behaviors.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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