The Vanderbilt student organization Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility (SPEAR) has been named winner of the 2014 football sustainability competition and can boast the title “greenest group on campus.” The group celebrated its win with a VIP catered tailgate before the Nov. 8 home football game versus Florida and was recognized on the field during the game. The annual competition is sponsored by Waste Management Inc., Vanderbilt Athletics and the Vanderbilt Sustainability and Environmental Management Office.
On behalf of the group, Vanderbilt seniors and SPEAR co-presidents Michael Diamond and Morgan Goldberg accepted a commemorative football autographed by head coach Derek Mason and an engraved recycled glass plate presented by Matthew Buckley, campus waste and recycling manager, and Tim Wells, area vice president for Waste Management Inc.
SPEAR’s mission is to increase environmental awareness and promote more environmentally sustainable habits and infrastructure within Vanderbilt and the Nashville community. To achieve the “greenest group” title, SPEAR’s efforts included providing 160 volunteers for Cardboard Crew during this year’s student move-in, which enabled the university to recycle more than 35 tons of cardboard. SPEAR also co-founded the Vanderbilt Green Fund and is developing a model for a sustainability curriculum for first-year students at Vanderbilt.
The athletics sustainability competition invites all Vanderbilt groups, teams, departments and campus organizations to compete for the title “greenest group on campus” by completing a checklist of sustainable actions under the categories of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Energy and Water Savings; and Transportation. Additionally, groups are asked to describe the innovative sustainability efforts going on within their departments or organizations. Entries are accepted twice per year—once during football season and once during basketball season—and are judged using a standardized scoring rubric.
For more information about sustainability efforts at Vanderbilt, visit the SustainVU website.