Date of Award
Master of Science
Recreation and Sport Management
Dr. Jeffrey Graham
Dr. Robin Hardin, Dr. Sylvia Trendafilova
According to The United States Environmental Protection Agency, in 1960, 7% of US waste was recycled or diverted – today, that is almost 35%. The minimization and eventual elimination of such products will help with issues such as diversion from these products in everyday life and replacing them with reusable alternatives are what makes a difference. Universities nationwide are beginning to understand the importance of the relationships between sustainability personnel and athletic administrators, which then channels into how collegiate teams practice sustainability. There is still much work to be done regarding the implementation of sustainability practices and procedures in college athletics. A working definition of Environmental Sustainability by Robert Goodland suggests “environmental sustainability as the maintenance of natural capital” (Morelli, 2011, 1). Within universities, a new method of sustainability integration has emerged - Green Teams. Green Teams serve to formalize the relationship between institutional partnerships, which allows athletic departments to contribute to the sustainability goals of the university. The purpose of the current in-progress study is to determine whether sustainability practices change based on an individual’s environment and how those behaviors influence others. I will interview staff that hold the title of Director of Operations or conduct operation-like tasks for all NCAA Division I teams. Questions will be prompted to gain knowledge on the individual’s perception of sustainability and how they implement sustainable habits in their daily lives. The goal of these interviews is to understand the relationship between sustainability practices in one’s personal life and how that’s translated into work. After analyzing results, it was clear that there is a strong correlation in the disconnect between athletic and on campus departments regarding environmental sustainability habits. Participants mentioned that although they noticed on-campus ES efforts being enforced, those same practices were not implemented throughout athletic departments. There was also a disconnect between home and work practices, as many participants noticed that it was easier to practice ES on their own compared to at work due to the sheer number of athletes and staff they’re in charge of. Geographic location also played a role in participants’ mindset and ES habits overall.
Harder, Anna, "An Examination of Sustainability Practices Within NCAA Division I Athletic Teams. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2023.