Green athletics

Special message from Coach Manny Diaz: "Live single-use plastic free!" 


On Aug. 3, 2020, UM Athletics Director, James Blake signed the UN Sports for Climate Action framework, reaffirming the University of Miami's commitment to carbon emission reduction.

Restoring College Sports Amid Covid-19: Leveraging Climate Action

Four highly respected collegiate athletic directors will present their plans to help restore college sports by leveraging climate action, health and wellness, and diversity/inclusion practices during an upcoming webinar on August 3, 2020 at 1PM EST. Athletic Directors Rick George of the University of Colorado Buffaloes; Gene Smith of The Ohio State University Buckeyes; John Currie of the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons; and Blake James of University of Miami Hurricanes will each make presentations and take questions regarding their approach to restoring college sports in the post-Covid world. Led by these ADs, these sports-sustainability programs have learned to leverage their assets and fan preferences to advance campus sustainability goals, open up sponsorship revenue opportunities, cost savings and significant campus and fan support.

All four campuses have all committed to implement the UN Sports for Climate Action framework, the first US collegiate athletic programs to do so. Over 120 sports organizations ranging from the International Olympic Committee to the NY Yankees and the NBA have already signaled their commitment to this global accord. The goal of the webinar is to bring together campus sustainability personnel with their athletics counterparts to better advance campus goals, increase each campuses leadership, respond to student/community preferences for sustainable college sports, and showcase revenue opportunities resulting from these actions. The webinar is presented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Meghan Fay Zahniser, the Executive Director of AASHE, will host the program.

About the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework

The U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework has two overarching objectives: to achieve a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and to leverage sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action among global citizens. Signatories of the framework commit to five core principles:  undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility; reducing overall climate impact; educating for climate action; promoting sustainable and responsible consumption; and advocating for climate action through communication. 

Green Athletics Donation

Thanks to our Athletics Department for their generosity. Green U and 
Soles4Souls drive collected more than 150 pairs of new and gently used shoes. Soles4Souls turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity, by keeping them from going to waste and putting them to good use – providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. "Something as simple as a pair of shoes can make a big difference".

Collegiate  Sports  Sustainability

The Atlantic Coast Conference leads the nation in collegiate athletics, academics and sustainability programs. The second annual ACC Sports Sustainability Conference will serve as an opportunity to unite and leverage these strengths to showcase our collective impacts, learn from our peers and create a national platform to magnify our winning traditions. May 20 - 21. Recap and presentations available here!

Greening the game!

March 4 at 8.30 pm the Hurricanes Men's Basketball team will play Virginia at the Watsco Center.
Come support your team the Green way! Our Green Team will be promoting best practices in reducing single use plastic. Take our ECO pledge, and pass by the Green U table to claim your sustainable giveaway.
Go Green, Go Canes! 

Screening: The Game Changers

Feb 27 at 8 pm in the Iron Arrown room - Student Shalala Center. A plant based diet is what Athletes recommend, you'd better listen. Come enjoy the movie with some vegan goodies. Sponsored by Plant Based Canes. Email for more information




Come support your football team on Oct 11!

For this home game against the Virginia Cavaliers, Hurricane players will wear the Adidas-Parley uniforms with a fabric made from recycled ocean plastic. Visit the Yellow SW lot for our first UM Greek Recycling Challenge.
If you want to help and volunteer with our Green Team that day, please contact 

  • That same day, UM will launch a "White Out" of the student section to raise awareness on the dangers of single use plastics and the importance of recycling and reusing items that have already entered the waste stream while also showing support for the home team.
  • In conjunction with this 'White Out', Student Government ECO Board is partnering with CAT5 for a rally towel giveaway, these towels will be all white to match the theme and are made from 100% cotton and printed in the USA to emphasize the use of sustainable materials and locally produced goods. 
  • Additional recycling bins will be installed in the student fanzone 



On April 26 at 6pm, come support our team for
a special Green Baseball Game!

UM vs Virginia Tech at Alex Rodriguez Park 

Our Green U Team will be there, along with our partners, Adidas-Parley, Coke Florida, Miami Dade County Water and Sewer Department and Debris Free Ocean with giveaways and information about water conservation and ocean plastic pollution. 



Nov. 7 - 12 pm to 1 pm in the Schwartz Center auditorium (map)
Lunch will be served  - Free Admission - RSVP now

We want to learn from the professional world on how to make collegiate sports socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. From energy/water conservation, fans engagement, waste diversion or eco-friendly apparels, sustainability is a win-win for collegiate sports stakeholders.



Jeff King
Vice President, Facilities - Miami Marlins

"Marlins Park was designed with many aspects of sustainability in mind. From the energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, to water use reductions, Marlins Park is the most sustainable facility in Major League Baseball.  It is the first professional sports facility in the world with a retractable roof to earn LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council."
In 2014,  the Florida Department of Environmental Protection recognizes the Miami Marlins organization for its impressive 51% recycling rate.













Dave Newport 
Director, Environmental Center - University of Colorado Boulder

Nearly twenty years ago, Dave became the Florida Gators’ first Sustainability Director and piloted green sports efforts in The Swamp and created the nation’s first corporate sponsorship of an in-game sustainability activation in 2002.
After moving to Colorado in 2006 to become Director of the University of Colorado Boulder Environmental Center, the Buffalos became the nation’s first NCAA Div.1 athletics program with a comprehensive sustainability program, with zero-waste, zero-carbon, zero-pesticides, zero-net energy facilities, 2MW of installed solar PV, and a car-free/zero-waste tailgate, among other efforts. Likewise, partnering with Learfield, Dave has helped enable ~$5-million of CU Boulder sports sustainability partnerships with brands such as BASF, Pepsi, Wells Fargo, WhiteWave Foods, Eco-Products, Solaroo, Google, The Pantry, UPS, Ball Corporation, and Unifi, among others. 

 He is currently a member of the Green Sports Alliance Board of Directors Executive Committee. A former Florida citizen for 35 years, Dave’s career in the Sunshine State includes founding and leading an award-winning for-profit print periodical publishing house, Florida Environments Publishing Inc, for nearly 15 years. Dave also served as Chair of the Alachua County Commission, in Gainesville.






































Green Athletics Conference at the U - 2017

Join us on Nov. 10 - 12 pm to 2 pm in the Schwartz Center auditorium (map) - Lunch will be served  - Free Admission

RSVP here

This conference will give South Florida sport professionals, collegiate sport administrators, students and athletes an opportunity to network and learn.


Jackie Ventura
Operations & Sustainability Coordinator - AmericanAirlines Arena - HEAT Group
Board member of the Green Sports Alliance - bio
Linda Gancitano
Driftwood Middle School - Academy of Health and Wellness
"How Low can You Go? MIAMI HEAT Energy Challenge" Founder - bio

Oppong Hemeng
Program Coordinator - Sustainability
University Athletic Association - University of Florida - bio












sponsored by  

Who says sustainability and Sports are not compatible?  
A nationally recognized partner, the Green Sports Alliance put it this way: 
"The Alliance inspires professional sports leagues, college conferences, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices."











Linda Gancitano, an educator of 27 years, teaches at Driftwood Middle School in Broward County,Florida. Linda was a member of the first-ever U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, was recognized by the White House for being a Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy, EPA Faces of Climate Change, Florida Green School Teacher of the Year, District P3 Eco-Teacher of the Year and SHAPE Florida Teacher of the Year. Ms.Gancitano’s major initiative for climate change education has been through her creation of the How Low Can You Go Challenge (Zero Energy) for k-12 schools across the country and  partnership with the Miami Heat. Ms. Gancitano’s latest environmental initiative is co-founding the Climate and Sports Student Summits. Linda has extensive training under Al Gore for the Climate Reality Leadership Training. 

Jackie Ventura, Director, Sustainability & Operations, AmericanAirlines Arena / Miami HEAT

Jackie Ventura joined The Heat Group at the AmericanAirlines Arena in 2001. In her current role, Jackie monitors and tracks all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the facility including utility forecasting/tracking, labor distribution, CMMS administration, and projects and reconciles a multi-million dollar operating budget. In 2008, Jackie evaluated the NBA league-wide suggestions for viable sustainability initiatives for the AA Arena and determined that the facility would satisfy all of the requirements for LEED Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance certification. Given her history and role in the department, Jackie was able to easily manage and administer the LEED certification completely in-house and within six months from project registration to certification award only employing the assistance of key staff members and vendors as needed. This earned the Arena the distinction of being the first NBA facility to earn LEED certification in April 2009.   In 2014, Jackie once again led the recertification efforts, improving the building to LEED Gold but also making the AA Arena the first sports and entertainment facility in the world to achieve LEED re-certification.  Currently, Jackie reviews, recommends, and implements sustainability efforts for the facility, formalizes sustainability policies, and engages the public on the AA Arena’s efforts.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Sports Alliance and the Resiliency Task Force for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

Oppong Hemeng
University Athletic Association - University of Florida

Oppong is the Sustainability Coordinator for the University Athletic Association at the University of Florida. He assists with the event management for a number of varsity sport programs as well as other major events hosted in the Florida Gators athletics facilities. His main focus is developing sustainability projects; educating the UF community about environmental, social, and economic sustainability efforts; and assessing the impact and outcomes of these initiatives. Oppong plays an integral part in the execution of campus-wide sustainability goals of the athletic department. Prior to working with the UF Athletic Association, Oppong worked for the Office of Sustainability and Department of Recreational Sports at UF. He also currently serves on the sustainability community of practice committee for the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association.

 Athletics Sustainability Strategic Plan 2019