College Football Playoff Green Initiative Goes Beyond Just Recycling

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College Football Playoff - Playoff Green

(The College Football Playoff is a Proud Partner of Front Office Sports)

If you’ve strolled through a parking lot on a college football Saturday, chances are you will see beverage cans, water bottles, and trash strewn everywhere. Exiting the stadium, you’ll see the same; bottles and cans not-so-neatly tucked underneath seats and benches.

The College Football Playoff wants to change this.

Acknowledging the fact that there is going to be waste, the CFP is taking a leadership position to make sure that when an event is over, the waste has been put to good use.

“Our goal is to make the 2019 National Championship Game in Santa Clara a zero-waste event, and we are doing everything in our power to make that happen,” said Ryan Hall, director of community relations for the College Football Playoff, when discussing the organization’s Playoff Green initiative.

Started in 2015, Playoff Green has served as the sustainability effort for the CFP for the past three years. Last year, Hall lauded the effort of the team and the overall impact that was made — an impact that, during the game, centers around ambassadors who assist fans in making the right choice when it comes to recycling.

“A lot of people don’t recycle because they just don’t know what to do or how to do it properly,” Hall said. “So we have ambassadors that are easily marked and identifiable in the stands on game day. At the biggest game of the year, our ambassadors are walking around asking fans, “Can I help you recycle that bottle?’”

Hall and his team have also focused on growing Playoff Green to the point where it impacts the community outside of the stadium’s footprint.

To do this, they have turned to the Playoff Green Challenge, a multi-month competition that encourages local elementary and middle schools to increase sustainability efforts. The prize for those that compete? Everything from schools supplies to even doing things like helping beautify the schools.

The growth of this aspect of Playoff Green has been important for Hall.

“For me, my favorite change is actually getting the kids involved. When you see their eyes light up when they’re learning about recycling, it is awesome. They are sponges that take that information and apply it. Then, they come back and tell you how they’ve done it at home or how they have gotten their friends involved.”

Much of Playoff Green’s mission wouldn’t be possible without the support of different partners, an area that Hall has seen an uptick in since the initiative started.

“The great thing about Playoff Green is that the primary objective of the sponsors and partners is not about getting an ROI. It’s nice to get that, it’s nice to have the marketing, but what we get is a lot of altruistic folks who truly care about the product of what they’re dealing with for the dollars.”

As the 2019 National Championship game shifts to the West Coast, new opportunities have already opened up.

Not only will fans find these outside the game, but inside the stadium as well with the game taking place at Levi’s Stadium, a stadium known for its sustainability efforts and LEED Gold certification.

“With our tech friends, the 49ers, who already have a great footprint in the area, as well as a partnership with the Bay Area Host Committee, who had those partnerships established, we should be able to do a lot of good work.”

This work, while meant to be a chance for the CFP to make a difference, serves as opportunity for Hall and his team to show the entire college football community what can be done when the right steps are taken.

“Our megaphone is so large, that if we lead, others will listen and follow.”

(The College Football Playoff is a Proud Partner of Front Office Sports)