Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Spt-Oct 2015 Contents 14 INCLEAN September/October 2015
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By Stephen P. Ashkin*
Probably every Australian has either been to or heard about
Allphones Arena. Situated in Sydney Park, the facility was
completed in 1999, just in time for the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Most likely, many Australians also know that Allphones Arena
is now ranked as one of the top 10 arenas in the world and is
capable of holding 21,000 people, making it not only the largest
indoor venue in Australia but also one of the largest in the world.
Probably a bit less well known is the fact that Allphones Arena
is managed by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which
manages several entertainment venues around the world. But
probably even less well known is the fact that AEG is a member of the Green Sports
Alliance (GSA), which is helping to turn Allphones Arena into one of the greenest and
most sustainable sports and entertainment centres in the world.
I doubt many people in Australia -- or around the world, for that matter -- know what the GSA
is. Yet, this up-and-coming organisation is growing very fast and is set to have a major impact on
the professional cleaning industry along with many other industries in years to come.
About the Green Sports Alliance
The GSA began in 2011 with six professional sports teams based in the United States and
Canada. It was the brainchild of billionaire Paul G. Allen, a Microsoft co-founder and later
property developer, who was also an owner or part-owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, the
Seattle Seahawks, and the Seattle Sounders soccer team.
These professional sports teams are all located in the northwestern part of the U.S., which
happens to be one of the most green- and sustainability-focused parts of the country. So it
should come as no surprise that Allen is very focused on green and sustainability issues with
the goal of introducing them into professional sports.
In just four years the GSA has grown to nearly 300 professional and collegiate teams from
20 different sports leagues and 14 countries. Members also include some of the biggest names
in the professional cleaning industry that either own, operate, or manage sports venues.
While the members may come from different industries, what they all have in common
is what the GSA is all about and that is a dedication to implementing ongoing strategies
to reduce waste, use energy and water more effciently, and eliminate the use of toxic or
unhealthy chemicals in cleaning, along with other programs and initiatives.
And while it is not stated specifcally, many members of the Alliance believe strongly that
as the sports industry goes green, with its power and infuence around the world, so will
many other individuals, industries, and organisations. The professional cleaning industry in
Australia is one of those industries.
The Greener Cleaning Playbook
As more and more professional sports teams and venues become involved with the
GSA, one of the frst issues that comes up is very simply, what steps do they take as an
organisation to become greener and more sustainable? This is very similar to the issues
facility managers dealt with in Australia and in North America 10 or 15 years ago.
Essentially what they are asking is, what is green cleaning and how do we implement it?
The GSA has just published the Greener Cleaning Playbook (downloadable at www.
greensportsalliance.org/resource-center/). The Playbook helps defne green cleaning – the
use of cleaning tools, products, and equipment that have a reduced impact on health and
the environment when compared to similar products used for the same purpose -- as well
clarifes what a green cleaning product is and why it has earned the designation as an
environmentally preferable product.
The Playbook also outlines, in a step-by-step process, how to implement a green cleaning
program and how to identify and overcome what it calls 'barriers and obstacles' in the process.
However, while the entire Playbook is about green cleaning, there are two areas of the
Playbook I think cleaning professionals will fnd particularly important. The frst focuses on
proper training. In many cases, this training will be provided by jansan distributors and will
include such things as:
Green Sport Alliance is the
winning 'green' team
Stephen P. Ashkin
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