Across the world, the collective carbon emissions of sports is equal to that of a mid-size country, which makes Indianapolis – a city contending for the title of sports capital of the world – an ideal testing ground for environmentally-friendly protocols that could be scaled nationally and possibly even internationally.
To get a sense of just how massively influential sports are not just as an industry but as a platform, Jay speaks with Roger McClendon, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance. Roger informs Jay that the Alliance’s sustainability work on this past year’s College Football Playoff Championship saw a staggering 80% diversion rate of methane-emitting waste from landfill, while shedding light on a need for new green jobs and infrastructure capable of reusing the materials that go into live events. Susan Baughman, president of the 2022 CFP Indianapolis Host Committee, tells Jay that pulling off the most sustainable championship in the event’s history was a team effort that can serve as an inspiration for other cities to recreate and improve upon.
Speaking of improvements, Jay hears about how Indianapolis has been scaling its efforts year-over-year by speaking with Jessica Davis, director of the IUPUI Office of Sustainability, which serves as the boots-on-the-ground when it comes to data collection and research. Jessica explains how the 2021 March Madness tournament established a precedent for sustainable sporting events, and how each successive event is only going to raise the bar and extend the scope of emissions that the city intends to offset. Next, Jay pops over to Lucas Oil Stadium to hear from Yogi Stephens of Sodexo Live! about how vendors are deploying best practices while keeping tens of thousands of hungry fans fed.
Finally, Jay concludes his nation-wide tour at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he gets some sage advice from Penske Entertainment’s first ever sustainability program leader, Logan Waddle, about how he successfully turned his passions for sports and the environment into a newly minted green job.
Featuring: Jay Tipton, Roger McClendon, Susan Baughman, Jessica Davis, Yogi Stephens, Logan Waddle, Paula DiPerna
Producer: Mike Zunic
Executive Producers: Melissa Panzer, Joan Lynch, Art Bilger
Writers: Jay Tipton, Mike Zunic
Talent Producer: Emily Lallouz
Edited and Sound Mixer: Lynz Floren
Assistant Editor: Mengfang Yang
Music by: Avocado Junkie
Made possible by: the Walton Family Foundation