TD Place, Rugby

Green-er sports facilities

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Ottawa's thriving major events and sport scene has shown a growing commitment to sustainability. From energy retrofitting projects to more conscious recycling programs, various sustainability initiatives at local facilities are changing the landscape of sport hosting in the city. By incorporating more sustainable ways of operating, hosting venues are taking more environmental responsibility, ensuring the excitement surrounding major events is matched by a passion for protecting the planet.

Read on to discover some sustainable efforts that major events and sport facilities are incorporating into their operations.

The RA Centre

The RA Centre boasts indoor and outdoor sports and recreation facilities, as well as flexible meeting spaces, and in 2022, they were a recipient of Infrastructure Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Building Grant.

The $2.39-million grant transformed infrastructure through energy and heating retrofits, leading to an estimated 20.8% reduction in energy usage and consumption each year. It’s estimated to be reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by over 40% too.

In partnership with SOFIAC and Siemens Canada, the deep energy retrofit and decarbonization project has not only reduced their greenhouse gas emissions but allowed them to reinvest savings into programs and services. Learn more about their new heating and cooling system.

The RA Centre is keeping up the green momentum. In the works is an energy-efficient LED lighting project to further reduce energy consumption, and their forward-looking attitude is compelling them to remain dedicated to incorporating more sustainability practices in the future.

TD Place at Lansdowne

TD Place at Lansdowne has a large outdoor stadium which is home to professional sports teams such as the Ottawa REDBLACKS (CFL) and Atlético Ottawa (CPL). They also have an indoor arena where the Ottawa BlackJacks (CEBL) and the Ottawa 67’s (OHL) play, and comedians, musicians and more perform.

A major green initiative that the facility has committed to is offering free transit for every ticketed event that takes place on-site. There’s also a free bike valet for all REDBLACKS games and other transit opportunities for specific events.

Did you know the venue is also a nest area for Bird Canada E-Scooters — the electric vehicle sharing program?

TD Lansdowne also participates in single-stream recycling, where all recyclable materials are collected together. This convenient approach encourages higher recycling rates, as consumers don't need to sort their recyclables. The materials are then sorted by a recycling facility.

After 67’s games, staff also retrieve beer cans from the recycling to support the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) Foundation and Youth Sports Program. Youth Groups can also collect beer cans after REDBLACKS games.

TD Place’s strategic focus on eco-friendlier transportation to their crowd-drawing events decreases air pollution and traffic congestion, and their recycling efforts reveal how greener initiatives can be linked to increased community wellness.

Carleton Athletics

Carleton Athletics at Carleton University has plenty of indoor and outdoor facilities and a rich sport event hosting history.

The venue recently installed LED lighting in their indoor fieldhouse, saving over half a million kWh a year as a result.

They also retrofitted both of their Ice House arenas along with a rooftop make-up air unit that heats and conditions air for 15 dressing rooms. The unit replaced a traditional 100% natural gas burning unit with a more efficient Air Source Heat Pump which uses reject heat from their refrigeration plant as a source of free heat, saving 90,000 m3 of natural gas consumption each year and reducing the site’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 90%.

The team has several plans for future green initiatives too.

Ottawa Tourism’s Food Recovery Program with La Tablée des Chefs

Ottawa Tourism partners with La Tablée des Chefs in order to tackle food waste in the event sector. The Food Recovery Program supports sustainable tourism by offering hospitality partners that host large events the ability to connect with local community members and donate surplus food from events. These efforts are being tracked and reported on as meals served and greenhouse gas emissions avoided.

The initiative is the first destination-led program of its kind, and the list of participating venues continues to grow as we work together to nourish the Ottawa community.

Ottawa is a destination that’s passionate about competition and environmental responsibility. Facilities like these offering spectacular sporting events while minimizing their environmental footprint are leading the way in eco-friendly sports tourism.

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