The US Open Green Initiative began as a pilot program in 2008 and has expanded each subsequent year, all with the goal of making the US Open an environmentally responsible and eco-friendly event. In partnership with environmental consultant eco evolutions, llc, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and GreenSlam, a group of leading environmental organizations, the USTA in 2011 is once again working on reducing the impact the US Open has on the environment. Alec Baldwin and Billie Jean King will serve as spokespersons in a comprehensive awareness campaign to promote environmental consciousness among US Open fans.
During the 2011 US Open, approximately 94 tons of plastic, metal, glass and cardboard will be collected throughout the site and recycled. The USTA collects the 70,000 tennis balls used during the matches and player’s practices to reuse in USTA tennis programs and donate to various community and youth organizations throughout the United States.
From the kitchens at the US Open, 985 gallons of food grease will be converted into biodiesel fuel, and 20,000 pounds of food will be donated to the community. At least 50 tons of food waste will be collected to be turned into compost for landscape and farming uses. And new for 2011, all service ware in the Food Village will be 100 percent compostable. At the US Open Collection merchandise locations, fans will continue to receive with their purchase a US Open souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple use. New for 2011, the US Open Collection will feature for sale a cinch backpack made from six recycled plastic bottles as well as a reusable tote made from 80 percent post-consumer waste, notepads printed on recycled paper, and journals and notecard cases constructed from 100 percent recycled paperboard and 100 percent recycled post-consumer and post-industrial paper product.
Hybrid vehicles will make up 60 percent of the Mercedes-Benz player and VIP transportation fleet, and GDF Suez, the US Open’s energy provider, will supply Green-e certified wind renewable energy certificates to match the electricity consumption generated during the 2011 US Open. To encourage the number of fans who attend the US Open via mass transit, Esurance, the car insurance company, will offer 125 fans a $4.50 MetroCard each day during the two-week event. Fans will also do their part for the environment as all paper products throughout the grounds—from tickets to napkins to paper towels—will be made up of at least 30 percent post-consumer waste.
Our goal is to encourage everyone—players and fans alike—to reduce, reuse, recycle and turn the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world into the most environmentally conscious.