Wimbledon Aces Sustainability Challenges during London 2012 Games

There were no shortage of environmental concerns surrounding the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing – the smog, algae, choking traffic, and alarming increase in demand for energy were all pointing to a potential environmental disaster. Beijing successfully avoided a green nightmare – and simultaneously, Vancouver 2010 was put a stake in the ground around moving from a ‘green’ to a ‘Sustainable’ Winter Olympics. So the London 2012 Summer Olympic Organizing Committee knew they no choice but to follow through on their radical promise to host a truly sustainable Olympic games.

 

With initiatives ranging from local community work, travel, and waste management, the London 2012 Organizing Committee integrated sustainability into many aspects of the Games.  However, as avid tennis fans, nothing caught our attention more than the initiatives at Wimbledon Stadium where sustainability was a hot topic.

 

So you like strawberries? So do we (locally sourced strawberries, that is).

 

This year’s Wimbledon organizers faced an astounding sustainable supply chain challenge.  In order to meet the estimated demand for Wimbledon’s famous strawberries and cream, over 61,730 lbs of English strawberries needed to be picked and delivered to Wimbledon stadium.  These strawberries weren’t of any old variety.  The official Wimbledon strawberries are Grade 1 English strawberries from specially registered farms in Kent, thus supporting local, seasonal and organic produce while giving consideration to healthy eating, sport, and well-being.

 

            Let’s re-energize!

 

Rainy days at Wimbledon are somewhat of a tradition.  Despite the cold weather, Wimbledon has undertaken a thorough review of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems and controls as a part of a strategy to develop and implement a long-term energy/carbon reduction strategy.  This includes investigating opportunities for on-site solar PV, solar water-heating and biomass.

 

The successes of Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 have gone a long way to integrating sustainability into mainstream culture and sporting events.  Although the London 2012 Organizing Committee successfully branded the 2012 Games as the “most sustainable games ever”, it fell short of several of its ‘green’ goals, including delivering 20 percent of electricity during the Games from new local renewable sources.  Interestingly, many corporate sponsors made good on their “sustainable vision” for the Olympics.   Dow solutions are helping enable more sustainable Games in several ways. The resin flooring system for the Eton Manor water sports facility is created from Dow epoxy products with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which reduces health risks and improves environmental safety. The resin flooring system will remain at Eton Manor after the Games as the center transforms into a unique mix of sporting facilities.  Indeed, it is often the smaller, and more measurable sustainable goals that when delivered create a larger impact.

 

We applaud London’s efforts and particularly some of the innovative programming at the Wimbledon Tennis Club. Now the torch is passed to Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 respectively. We’ll bring updates on their goals and progress in the coming weeks.

Green Sporting Alliance: out of the starting gate, but do we know the green score of the game?

The Green Sports Alliance (GSA) 2012 Summit was engaging, informative and definitely worth-while. On September 6 and 7th Reeve Consulting had the opportunity to travel to Seattle and attend the GSA Summit with the goal to further explore sustainability trends and experiences in the sporting world and spread the word about our own work and our new sustainability e-learning tool.

Out of the starting gate – presentation highlights

While it was clear that facilities, leagues, teams and suppliers were all on their own journey towards greening their operations; the consistent message coming from all the panels and stakeholders was the need to track progress and engage fans in team, event and league sustainability programs. We agree.

Given our work in the area of supply chains as a lever for corporate sustainability and eco-efficiency, we were especially interested to catch the conversation within the Organizational Sustainability and Supply Chain Strategies Panel, where panelists shared their key learning moments in rolling out their sustainability agenda.

Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategies for Microsoft shared that he regularly has moments of being reminded to rely on the experts within his team and company rather than trying to be an expert at everything.

Kevin Hagen, Director of Corporate Responsibility for REI and Ben Packard, Vice President of Global Responsibility for Starbucks, talked about the importance of speaking your audience’s language when rolling out your plan or sharing your success. Ben shared his realisation that customers cared less about what was in the cup and more about how they could be part of the solution, and how this in turn affected Starbucks marketing message.

Mike Lynch, Managing Director of Green Innovation for NASCAR spoke on the Environmental Perspectives from the League’s panel and really blew me away with how NASCAR and his department has rolled out NASCAR’s sustainability plans. At a conference that had everyone asking how do we measure success? How do we engage fans? How do we decide where to start? Mike could have given a best practices workshop of his own.

NASCAR started their program by reaching out to fans and stakeholders to find out their priorities then fashioned the NASCAR program to address those identified priorities. NASCAR has continued to maintain an open discussion with fans and stakeholders.

To wrap up, it wasn’t all big stadiums and leagues. Joel Benslaben was there with his app “Ideal Seat” which asks fans to document their ball game experience from the seats they sit in. Fan input is then compiled and accessed to make seat recommendations for app users based  on their seating desires.

Micheal Fechyshyn was in attendance representing Aspenware, a compostable dishware company based out of Vernon. I sampled their wares during breakfast and lunch and can report that they look and feel significantly nicer than the plastic compostable dishware one typically sees. Apparently they also compost more easily.

Do we know the green score? – looking for KPIs and performance measurement

We’ve all heard it before; “If it doesn’t get measured it doesn’t get managed”. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to green programs and sustainability initiatives.

We know key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance measures aren’t always at the top of the priority list when getting new programs launched – but programs can’t achieve scale if performance measurement is left to the end.

Great to see the Green Sport Summit getting this conversation going. We look forward to hearing more success stories at next year’s event.

We’re hiring! (Vancouver) – update

Flickr / quinet

We’re excited to announce a new position with Reeve Consulting in Vancouver, BC.

Click on the link below for full job postings and application details.

The deadline for applications is September 30, 2012.

Reeve Consulting is a boutique consultancy based in Vancouver, BC specializing in the development and implementation of ethical and sustainable purchasing programming for business, government and non-profit organizations in BC and across North America.

Reeve Consulting attending the Green Sport Summit 2012, Seattle

This week, Amanda Mungal from Reeve Consulting will be attending the Green Sport Alliance Summit in Seattle. Designed for leaders from the sports community, this three-day executive summit will use a mixture of formats to introduce attendees to sustainability best practices that produce bottom line benefits while demonstrating responsible corporate and community citizenship.

Building off our work with the 2010 Bid Committee, VANOC and Sochi2014, Reeve Consulting recognizes the impact of large-scale sporting initiatives.

We’re looking forward to hearing firsthand how teams and venues are saving money and improving their environmental performance.  We hope to see you there.

View the video below for the 2011 Green Sports Alliance Summit Highlights:

 

We’re hiring! (Vancouver) – updated

UPDATE – We are no longer hiring for the positions outlined below. However we are happy to accept resumes and are always interested in meeting exceptional candidates. If you’re interested in working with Reeve Consulting, please send your resume with a cover letter to info@reeveconsulting.com.

Flickr / quinet

We’re excited to announce two new positions with Reeve Consulting in Vancouver, BC.

Click on the links below for full job postings and application details.

The deadline for applications is June 1, 2012.

Reeve Consulting is a boutique consultancy based in Vancouver, BC specializing in the development and implementation of ethical and sustainable purchasing programming for business, government and non-profit organizations in BC and across North America.

Maximize the Impact of Sustainable Purchasing – join us for the next BuySmart Learning Event

Are you familiar with the basics of sustainable purchasing? Would you like to customize your organization’s procurement process to align with sustainability principles? An upcoming BuySmart learning event focused on Maximizing the Impact of Sustainable Purchasing will put you on the right track.

Designed for staff in public, private and non-profit organizations responsible for purchasing, sustainability or corporate responsibility, workshop topics will include how to integrate sustainability into bid documents, create performance scorecards for suppliers, evaluate proposals and more. Presenters will additionally profile product guidelines and specifications among other helpful tools.

Presented by the BuySmart Network, a non-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in BC and beyond, the event will feature new workshops lead by BuySmart Co-Founders Tim Reeve and Coro Strandberg, whose last co-facilitated session in February sold out with very positive reviews.

Guest speaker Vicki Wakefield, Purchasing Manager for Student Housing, Hospitality and Food Services at the University of British Columbia (UBC), will show participants how UBC is applying these tools within the request for proposals (RFP) process.

Pre-registration is recommended, as space is limited. Sign-up through the BuySmart Network’s Eventbrite site and join us for a morning of strategy, practical insights and useful tools that will help your organization leverage its purchasing power for social, environmental and financial benefits.

Sustainable Purchasing Supports Municipalities Green Strategies and Helps Manage their Bottom Line

Sustainable purchasing and supply chains are on municipal agendas across Canada. Increasingly, decision-makers are recognizing that sustainable procurement practices add value to their carbon neutral programs, zero waste goals, economic development opportunities, risk management, leadership, efficiency and innovation while positively engaging their staff and the communities they serve. Sustainable procurement practice is relatively new to municipal governance.

To efficiently manage the learning curve, municipalities are joining together. One successful example is the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing (MCSP).  A newly released report from Reeve Consulting, The State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada is co-authored with representatives of the MCSP. This report details the current state of sustainable purchasing practices in Canada including ratings and rankings of municipal programs from the MCSP’s member cities such as Halifax, Vancouver, Whitehorse, Grand Prairie, Guelph and Saskatoon.

The MCSP pilot project was formed in 2010 and currently members represent fourteen Canadian municipalities. By leveraging their collective experiences, knowledge and resources, they are strengthening their respective sustainable purchasing programs. The steering committee includes representatives from Whitehorse, Ottawa, Edmonton, London and Victoria. Five new members were welcomed in 2011.

The 2012 report, authored by Reeve Consulting and the MCSP, details their investigation into the depth of policy development and implementation across the country. Further, where there is under leveraging, what is holding municipalities back?  There are useful insights for municipal decision-makers, discussion of the top five emerging trends in this sector, and an overview of the main challenges and top priorities for 2012.

10 Key Program Areas for Successful Sustainable Purchasing

Municipalities fast tracking their efforts will find great value in the 10 Key Program Areas for Successful Sustainable Purchasing, which includes the ingredients for a comprehensive sustainable procurement program. One key element is developing a Supplier Code of Conduct. The City of Edmonton advanced the verification framework for their Supplier Code by providing public disclosure of their apparel factory locations. Training sessions were held in 2011 for staff of the City of Halifax introducing them to sustainable procurement concepts.

A clear demonstration of leadership is the collaboration between the City of Whitehorse and the Yukon Intergovernmental Committee on Environmental Sustainability. These, and other key program areas for successful sustainable purchasing, are presented in this report along with tangible examples of implementation.

Top 5 Emerging Trends in Municipal Sustainable Procurement

The State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada features a detailed discussion of the Top Five Emerging Trends in Municipal Sustainable Procurement including supplier innovations, emerging social programming and collaboration building. Findings show that policy development is advancing and most municipalities are in the early stages of their strategic program development.

However, current resource levels, in comparison with expectations of the programs, are miss-matched. Sustainable purchasing programs have insufficient resources to capitalize on many opportunities. As a result, implementation of the majority of programs is still a challenge.

On the positive side, Finance and Sustainability Departments are increasingly realizing synergies between their financial objectives and sustainable procurement programs and are building powerful teams at the senior management and executive levels.

Despite solid progress in these areas, a major finding in The State of Municipal Sustainable Procurement in Canada, is the disproportionate amount of time spent creating policies, procedures, tools and the capacity to implement sustainable procurement practices compared to the actual application. Another area where gains should be made is de-constructing robust measurement and reporting frameworks.

2012 Program for the Municipal Collaboration for Sustainable Purchasing: join us!

All local governments are encouraged to participate in the MCSP no matter the size of the community they serve. Current member municipalities send representatives such as a Director of Supply Management, Procurement Manager, Senior Environment or a Sustainability Manager.

All members participate in networking teleconferences, webinars and action planning sessions held over the course of each calendar year. They share sustainable procurement lessons, best practices and tools enabling them to streamline implementation of their municipal program development. A sustainable procurement expert facilitates each discussion, the training sessions and provides project secretariat services to the collaboration.

If you would like to join this project or require more information, contact Tim Reeve by email at tim@reeveconsulting.com or by phone at 604-763-6829.

Sustainable Purchasing Learning Event offered by BuySmart Network

Are you struggling to figure out where to start with sustainable purchasing? Or not sure how to build the business case? Perhaps you’re wondering where to focus resources?

Gain practical knowledge and the confidence to embrace sustainable purchasing practices in your organization by joining the BuySmart Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing sustainability in BC and beyond, February 24th for the Introduction to Sustainable Purchasing seminar. This half-day seminar will focus on the fundamentals of sustainable purchasing featuring practical insights and lessons learned from professionals in the field.

Flickr / AMagill

Designed for purchasing, sustainability and corporate responsibility staff in public, private and non-profit organizations, seminar topics will include:

  • How to integrate environmental, social and ethical factors in the procurement process
  • Key components of a sustainable purchasing tendering toolkit
  • What’s needed to overcome barriers and recognize the best opportunities for sustainable purchasing in you own organization

Tim Reeve, a Co-Founder of the BuySmart Network and President of Reeve Consulting with Coro Strandberg will lead the session, joined by guest speakers Amanda Pitre-Hayes and Kevin Ducharme.

Event Details

  • When: February 24, 2012, 9:00 am – noon
  • Where: TIDES Canada, Hollyhock Room 304, 163 West Hastings St. Vancouver
  • Cost: $75

Full details of the Introduction to Sustainable Purchasing seminar can be found in the event brochure [PDF].

For more information about the seminar, contact Bob Purdy by email at bpurdy@fraserbasin.bc.ca or phone at (604) 488-5355.

New SustainAbility Report: Signed, Sealed…Delivered? behind certifications and beyond labels

We recently came across an interesting report from SustainAbility titled Signed, Sealed…Delivered? Behind Certifications and Beyond Labels, which explores the value and challenges that business find in using sustainability certifications and labels to improve economic, environmental and social outcomes across global value chains.

We’re sure this report will be of interest to sustainability supply chain stakeholders, both those looking to use ecolabels to drive specification in their procurement activities and those interested in applying certifications to their own private label products. Everyone agrees we need more science-based data to make good green decisions. Certifications and labels are an important part of that journey.

Recognizing that certification, labeling and the standards-setting organizations behind them have been pioneers in building a more sustainable economy, SustainAbility undertook this research to examine what could be learned from the eco-labelling landscape about how to improve supply chain impact, increase trust among value chain partners and change customer and consumer behavior. Further, how these lessons could help inform the scaling of sustainability overall.

The final report outlines some top challenges, key findings and a vision for how sustainability labels need to evolve in the future to better serve businesses and society.

The full report is available for free on the SustainAbility website. There’s also a short summary video that provides a concise overview of the findings.

Major League Sports Gulping the Green Gatorade

Flickr / Daveybot

It’s inspiring to browse the headlines on sites like NHL Green and the Green Sport Alliance these days and see the range of sustainability initiatives being adopted by major sporting leagues, teams and facilities.

Whether it’s venue recycling programs, such as those introduced at the MLB’s 2011 World Series or the upcoming Cal Athletics zero-waste games, food waste reduction programs, such as the NHL’s Rock and Wrap it Up! Program, through which over 160, 000 meals have been recovered across the NHL, or innovative energy conservation and generation programs such as the Cleveland Indians solar panels and wind turbine project and the Stadium Managers Association’s Energy Bowl competition.

In fact, check-out this great video from the series Energy Now! that highlights some of the renewable energy initiatives being undertaken by pro football stadiums around the league.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/29972293]

Clearly sports groups see the business case for sustainability on both the bottom line and corporate image. And many franchises have smartly focused on projects that are key “touch points” with fans, like recycling.

But as our colleagues in the sports world are well aware, showing up at the rink is one thing, you’ve got to step up your game if you want to be a regular out on the ice.

Next steps: robust measurement and reporting systems

Flickr / laffy4k

From our vantage point, there is plenty of excellent work and quality discussion around the value of greener sports – see videos from the 2011 Green Sport Summit presentations and panel discussions online – what we’re not seeing to any real degree is compelling and robust measurement and reporting on actual outcomes of green programs.

A quick Google search brings up few results in the realm of sustainability reports from leagues and teams, particularly in North America.

That being said, we did come across the 2010 and 2011 annual sustainability reports from the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Xcel Energy Center (home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild) and their partners. While largely focused on recycling programming, we were impressed to see a section on green purchasing, highlighting the group’s Green Purchasing Playbook that identifies third-party standards like Energy Star and Green Seal across a range of product categories as well as policy guidelines that outline the prioritizing of green product merits over cost. The playbook has paved the way for many products to be switched to greener alternatives. In fact, 65% of the facilities’ custodial papers and cleaners are now purchased to these standards.

We were also pleased to recently come across a run-down of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers sustainable purchasing program including a Green Cleaning Policy, local and organic refreshment sourcing and energy conservation programming.

The Sustainability Report from the Saint Paul River Centre and Xcel Energy Center is an example of a great first step into reporting by the sporting industry. As this field progresses we hope to see more reports aligned with recognized standards, like the Global Reporting Initiative and ISO 20121, bringing more rigor to measuring and reporting on operations and impacts.

Triple-bottom-line Reporting

Reeve Consulting is discussing with one of the major sports leagues creating a triple bottom line report for one of their marquee annual events, creating an opportunity to highlight and hopefully measure innovative sustainability projects within a more defined framework.

Flickr / s.yume

More than raising the profile of the event, such a report will back-up the good news stories with credible measurement, adding weight to the claim that the league is raising their game on sustainability. And beyond reporting on environmental programming, a triple bottom line focus will additionally invite reporting on the social initiatives undertaken by teams and leagues, for example, the Vancouver Canucks for Kids Fund or Whitecaps Youth Summer Camps.

A shout out to Saint Paul River Centre and Xcel Energy Center for taking the first shift, we’re looking to see other pro sports team step up and establish leadership and new benchmarking in this area.