USC’s zero waste football game is Saturday



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The University of Southern California and USC Athletics are proud to be leaders in sustainability. Here are our accomplishments from the past year and commitments to zero waste that we will celebrate during the Oct. 1 Zero Waste Game against Arizona State.


In 2021-22, USC Athletics won the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge in both football and men’s basketball.

It was the third time USC won the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge in football, and its first honor in men’s basketball.

In both Zero Waste Challenge games, USC diverted over 90% of game day waste from landfills.

In July 2022, USC Athletics re-committed to the United Nations’ Sports For Climate Action Framework, a worldwide initiative to achieve climate change goals in sports.

This pledge follows USC’s guiding sustainability principles:
Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
Reduce overall climate impact
Educate for climate action
Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
Advocate for climate action through communication
Water Drop

Sprinkler irrigation schedules at USC athletic facilities have been adjusted for designated days and times between 4pm-9am window, with spot watering as needed by hand.

This is in accordance with the State of California’s conservation measures, the City of Los Angeles Phase 3 Water Conservation Ordinance and USC’s commitment to water reduction efforts.

In Sept. 2022, USC Athletics partnered with One Tree Planted to develop a reforestation campaign centered around the 2022 USC Football season.

One Tree Planted oversaw replanting of ?30 million trees in 2021.

USC and OTP will work together to plant six trees for every USC touchdown, and one more for each USC extra point.
Through USC Football’s first 3 games, 140 trees have been pledged to be planted (20 touchdowns and 20 extra points).

During each football and basketball season, Pac-12 campuses compete with each other in pursuit of a zero waste home game in each season. Zero Waste is an effective tool to fully engage the athletes, faculty, staff, students, fans, and the community at the athletic venue to show active commitment to zero waste and sustainability. The zero waste competitions have continued to grow and is now in its fourth year with all Pac-12 campuses participating.

The competition encourages campuses to move towards zero waste and be creative on developing best practices, whether it be directly through reuse, recycling, and composting or by working with partners to drive impactful changes. Partners can include concessionaires, merchandise vendors, haulers, campus departments, manufacturers, sponsors, and service providers.

The Pac-12 zero waste competitions are unique when compared to other zero waste or recycling competitions. It not only uses the diversion rate as a key factor for the competition but it also takes into account two other key elements to succeed in achieving zero waste at athletic venues.

The score card also includes a Partnership and Participation section in identifying and developing partners, sponsors, and stakeholders and to identify their specific roles in the competition. The other special key element is the Innovation Credit section where the campus must identify their impacts of the competition through engagement with the campus, tailgates, organizations, sponsors, fans, contributions, and community.

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