Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ESPN Green Game spotlights U-M sustainability efforts

Kermit the Frog? Well, he is green after all and he will be introducing a special report before the “Green Game” on ESPN at noon Saturday when U-M takes on No. 1 Kansas in men’s basketball.

The game will thrust U-M’s commitment to sustainability into the national spotlight by showcasing such initiatives as the Zero Waste Tailgate at the Homecoming Weekend football game, the use of hybrid vehicles, and the U-M Solar Car team. Coach John Beilein will discuss the importance of conservation. Tune in earlier to catch the sustainability action.

ESPN will use special animation and graphics to drive home the sustainability message, with green graphics, a Green Game logo and full-screen panels with conservation-themed information. The sports network will use LED lights for lighting the on-air personalities, provide hybrid rental cars to ESPN production staff, and use reusable water bottles. Both teams will warm up in shirts made from 100 percent recycled material with a special Green Game logo. Concession locations in Allen Fieldhouse will serve popcorn in paper bags instead of the usual plastic containers.

The Zero Waste Tailgate, a partnership of the U-M Student Sustainability Initiative, the Alumni Association and campus Waste Management Services, diverted more than 500 pounds of waste from landfills and raised consciousness about recycling. The event featured corn-based compostable plates and utensils.

More than 50 percent of the U-M fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles runs on biodiesel, ethanol fuel or hybrid technology. The AATA operates 15 hybrid buses using biodiesel.

The U-M Solar Car team is the reigning North American Solar Challenge champion and placed third in the biennial Global Green Challenge, an 1,880-mile race across Australia. The team also received the Technical Innovation Award from the Australian Research Institute for the team that pushes the envelope for ingenuity.