SWACO News

Posted on: March 16, 2018

Columbus Pursues "Evergreen" Sustainability Certification for 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four

The Columbus Local Organizing Committee (CLOC) has incorporated sustainability impact areas into the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four by planning a wide range of activities and actions designed to engage residents, businesses, and visitors to help make a more sustainable Ohio.

Columbus is seeking to become the first Women’s Final Four host city to receive a sustainability certification since 2008, pursuing the “Evergreen” status, the highest level given by the Council for Responsible Sport. The Council has been involved in the planning of the sustainability program outlined below and will conduct a site visit during the Women’s Final Four.


The Responsible Sport Certification is a holistic approach to ensure the event considers community, financial, and environmental impacts on the city for true sustainability. The certification criteria include five areas: 1.) Planning & Communications 2.) Procurement 3.) Resource Management 4.) Access & Equity and 5.) Community Legacy.

Environmental Impact Reduction: With the assistance of the Council for Responsible Sport, Nationwide Arena and the Greater Columbus Convention Center have taken actions to reduce the environmental impact on these buildings while hosting the Women’s Final Four.  Through these intentional efforts, the energy and water needed to execute the operations of hosting the Women’s Final Four games is offset resulting in a neutral impact. Additionally, practices to decrease waste are being implemented therefore reducing the amount of materials being sent to the landfill.


Event Recycling: During the scheduled tree plantings and the NCAA Women’s Final Four Tourney Town at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, visitors, guests and volunteers will have the ability to recycle their unwanted bottles and cans in recycling containers provided by SWACO. The Convention Center estimates a total of more than 10 tons of waste and recyclable material to be generated during Tourney Town and has set a goal of diverting a minimum of 70% of event-generated materials from the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill.

Tree Plantings: In partnership with the City of Columbus through Branch Out Columbus and SWACO, over 100 trees will be planted at two city parks and in the Arena District. Planting trees offsets the carbon impact of hosting the Women’s Final Four by sequestering carbon and beautifies the community for all to enjoy. These trees will be planted as a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy. Volunteers can sign-up for the first two plantings at: https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/joinuscolumbus/volunteer/

•Planting #1: Friday, March 23 | 1-3 p.m. | Walnut Hill Park - 6001 E. Livingston Ave.
•Planting #2: Saturday, April 14 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Mock Park - 2548 Mock Rd.
•Planting #3: May 14 | 1:00 p.m. | Arena District - McFerson Commons

Sports Gear Drive: In partnership with Columbus City Schools, Nationwide Reality Investors, and The Ohio State University Office of Sustainability, volunteers will collect gently used sports gear, which will then be donated to area schools. These reused items will have beneficial use in the community that might have otherwise been discarded into landfills causing harm to the environment.

Items needed include:
•Bats: baseball/softball
•Gloves: baseball/softball (fielding) and catchers gear
•Cleats: baseball, football, softball, soccer, track
•Balls: soccer, volleyball, basketballs, tennis, medicine, footballs, golf
•Golf clubs and tennis rackets
•Various Equipment: agility ladders, hurdles, bases, cones, water bottles

Gear Drive locations include:
•Grandview Yard/Apartments at the Yard leasing office
•Flats on Vine leasing office
•Greater Columbus Sports Commission
•Experience Columbus
•Arena District Athletic Club

If you would like to get involved, join us for these other projects hosted by the Columbus Local Organizing Committee to spread awareness about sustainability and environmental impact in the Columbus community. For the latest event information for the Women’s Final Four, visit columbuswff.com.

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