Legitimizing Sustainability Efforts Through Strategic Partnerships

Brian P. McCullough
Sylvia Trendafilova
and Manuela Picariello

Starting in 2010, we have dedicated ourselves to gaining a deeper understanding of environmental sustainability in the sport and entertainment (S&E) industry, as we view it as one of the most paramount challenges facing our industry in the 21st century. From waste management to carbon emissions, the S&E industry has a considerable environmental impact. Such events in the S&E can range from small community-based concert series or 5k runs to large-scale, one-time events like college football games at the University of Michigan that attract more than 107,000 spectators, and multi-day mega-events like the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, which hosted more than 500,000 foreign travelers. Events like these have to plan to minimize the environmental impact of their participants’ and attendees’ resource consumption (e.g., energy and water), waste generation (e.g., recycling, compost, and landfill), and carbon generation through travel (e.g., air, auto, and mass transit) among other detrimental environmental impacts.