LA kicked off the first of two World Series 2017 games in blazing heat, and then after a week away, the players returned home to perfect 71 degree weather. For one, the drastic shift in LA weather shows how nature has no regard for when World Series games will take place. Yet, what we do have control over is how our sports and entertainment venues are adapted to the effects of climate change, while reducing future impacts.
Dodger Stadium in LA reflects this need for change. In 2008, Dodger Stadium introduced their new renovation plan, Next 50, which is committed to creating a more sustainable baseball stadium. The green initiatives adopted include landscaping, water fountain installation, and support for improving METRO ridership. The Green Necklace, as the surrounding landscaped area is known, is planted with drought-tolerant plants and trees, and will provide guests a view of the city beyond the stadium walls. Additionally, the new stadium will be LEED silver certified. LEED certification means the stadium engages in water and energy-saving measures, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Beyond the scope of the stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) worked closely with Dodger youth league to create a recycling initiative in collaboration with LA County Department of Public Works. In 2015, the Dodgers promoted the Strike Out Landfill Waste Program, encouraging youth and Dodger fans to recycle bottles and cans. By the end of the campaign, thousands of pounds of beverage containers were recycled. As the Dodger Stadium leadership continues to implement their Next 50 plan, LA’s beloved stadium will see a cleaner and greener future.
Any resident or visitor to LA would likely be familiar with the infamous Staples Center and/or the Los Angeles Convention Center. These venues, among 100+ others, are owned by Anschuzt Entertainment Group (AEG). After launching their sustainability campaign, AEG 1EARTH in 2007, AEG has published annual sustainability reports on progress toward achieving their established 2020 goals. These goals focus on greenhouse gas emissions reduction worldwide and were established according to the World Wildlife Fund’s “The 3% Solution,” which recommends corporate sectors to adopt a 3.2% GHG emission reduction per year from 2010 to 2020.
AEG reduces GHG emissions by investing in energy efficiency, waste diversion, and sustainable water practices
At the Stubhub Center in Los Angeles, AEG installed LED lights and 1 megawatt Tesla batteries. Tesla batteries allow the venue to purchase energy during low-demand times (usually at night) and store it in electrons to be used during peak demands for games and events. During the US Green Building Council (USGBC) International Conference and Expo, LA Convention Center diverted 90.3% of total waste from landfills. The venue accomplished this by converting 200 trash bins into compost bins and collecting recyclables. AEG set a goal to decrease potable water usage by 2.3% from 2010 to 2020 at water-stressed sites. In 2016, AEG nearly reached this goal — coming in just 1% shy of the 2.3% reduction target. Los Angeles is considered one of AEG’s most water-stressed sites, so potable water conservation at their 9 LA venues alone has the potential to make a big impact.
In reviewing the 2017 Sustainability Report, it is important to note the increased overall GHG emissions in 2016. While AEG implemented greenhouse gas reduction and conservation measures in Los Angeles venues, the entertainment giant continues to expand globally, which is responsible for the increase in its GHG emissions.
Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
Chris Chavez is Deputy Policy Director at the Coalition for Clean Air.
Tell us about your work on climate.
My work with the Coalition for Clean Air focuses in three areas:
- Climate equity: Work with our partners in the California Climate Equity Coalition to ensure California’s cap and trade revenues are invested in communities which are disproportionally impacted by pollution, and making sure those investments improve air quality in addition to greenhouse gas reductions.
- Electric vehicle deployment: Work with the Charge Ahead Coalition to increase electric vehicle deployment in low-income communities by advocating for strong local programs and state policies.
- Local government and community relations: Educate local elected officials and the broader community about California’s climate investment, electric vehicle programs, and important environmental policy issues.
What inspired you on your career path? And what or who inspires you now?
I’ve been involved with politics and policy since I was 13; that’s over half of my life! It always just seemed like the right fit for me and always kept my attention and interest. You could say my interest started even earlier, however. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time playing computer games where you got to build your own cities, transportation networks and deal with things like pollution. One of my top goals was to avoid pollution-forming industries and infrastructure and focus on renewables. Also, when I was in college, I did a lot of higher education advocacy with the California State University system and the California State Student Association (of which I was President in 2010-2011). But it was during my time at the State Capitol when I worked with Senators Alex Padilla and Fran Pavley that I truly started to get involved with environmental policy. I got to staff transportation-related bills and better understand the state’s role in reducing pollution through smart, equitable climate investments.
What are the barriers you face in work — and what could make your job easier?
The biggest challenge is being able to fully comprehend policy and the politics surrounding it. Policy is not easy, and I’ve always regarded environmental policy among the most challenging. Environmental policy sits right at the intersection of law, health, science and economics. Throw in the fact that California is among the global leaders in environmental policy and that we’re often in uncharted territory, there is always a lot to learn!
What would make the job easier is more time. Being able to balance out research, planning, legislative visits, conference calls, meetings and staying informed of current events in a limited amount of time isn’t easy. However, part of what makes the political and policy world fun is it’s fast pace.
A genie grants you two wishes that will help fight climate change. What do you ask for? The third wish is for anything you want (sky’s the limit!).
- That all politicians agree to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Convert all cars and freight vehicles to electric power (along with adequate charging infrastructure).
- I’ve always been a big science fiction fan, so the ability to teleport rather than drive or fly would be pretty neat (and hopefully it will be a zero-emissions transporter).
Friday, March 30th, 2018
The City of Los Angeles adopted an optimistic theme for the 2028 Olympic Games — “Follow the Sun.” This theme encompasses not only LA’s sunny and bright spirit, but it also delivers an optimistic outlook into a more sustainable future. One of the main priorities for the 2028 Olympic games is to be sustainable in all ways — financially, structurally, and environmentally. The City hopes to set out on achieving this vision by reusing the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and existing sports stadiums for the 2028 games, rather than solely depending on constructing brand new facilities.
Being a two-time host for previous Summer Olympics, LA holds the appropriate sentiment for athletes and guests, while possessing experience in planning for the future. Athletes will be housed and trained at UCLA and USC campuses, allowing the city to drastically reduce costs and resources for constructing new facilities. Because the games will span from the Valley to the shores of Long Beach, feasible modes of public transportation will be available for attendees, such as the newly constructed Metro Purple Line Extension (set to finish by 2020).
As the spirit and energy from Olympic participants rise high, so will the demand for energy. To address this issue, LA 2028 is committed to sourcing clean energy from the two biggest energy providers in the LA region — Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
As the City looks forward to a new era of the Olympic games, one thing is clear — Los Angeles is a true Olympian city at heart with an innovative future in mind.
How are other cities planning for climate resilience? ecoAmerica’s Let’s Lead on Climate report showcases how different cities from the West Coast to the East Coast are planning for the future.
Tuesday, March 27th, 2018