The University of Kentucky has made great strides in sustainability over the last decade and now has a strategic plan in place to enhance those efforts further over the next five years. UK Athletics is proud to join its partners on campus in putting that plan into action.
UK Athletics has significantly expanded its recycling operation to include every on-campus facility on game day – from Kroger Field to Memorial Coliseum and everywhere in between. We are also working to encourage participation by fans and students and asking the entire Big Blue Nation to join in. At football games, we have set a goal to reach a 25% diversion rate by the end of the 2022 season.
Buildings and Grounds
We want our facilities to last. In all construction, we are targeting LEED certification, which the U.S. Green Building Council awards for environmental performance and sustainable design. Two of UK’s newest facilities – Kroger Field and the Joe Craft Football Training Facility – have already received the prestigious designation.
We have also set a goal to reduce usage of nitrogen-based products by 50% in the maintenance of our grounds. We will also mitigate usage of phosphorous and potassium products to continually improve air and water quality.
We have established a baseline for electricity consumption in our facilities and achieved a reduction of nearly 10% against that baseline this year. Our goal is to reduce electricity consumption by 15% by 2022.
Food and Dining
It takes a lot to fuel 500 student-athletes for peak performance, but in doing so we have set a goal of zero waste at our training tables. We are also making a commitment to increase the amount of food we purchase from local Kentucky suppliers and expand to new local partners each year. Finally, we are working to eliminate the use of polystyrene in our food and dining operations.
Our shuttle program has been in place for home football games for years. We will work to further promote it to fans, as well as commit to establishing ride-sharing programs for fans attending our events. We are also working to provide bicycle parking at all athletics facilities and engaging with our partners on campus to connect all of our facilities to campus with safe and accessible sidewalks for fans.