The 2015 ESPYS: Eighth Consecutive Year: Zero Waste to Landfill


The 2015 ESPYS: Eighth Consecutive Year: Zero Waste to Landfill

Seven Times: Carbon Neutral  

ESPN’s continually growing commitment to environmentally friendly initiatives will be showcased at the 2015 ESPYS, as the event–for the seventh consecutive year–will be carbon neutral.  Additionally, the ESPYS will again be virtually waste-free through the implementation of stringent recycling and composting measures.

The 2015 ESPYS will be televised live from the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Carbon Neutral
ESPN will apply energy conservation strategies to minimize the use of fossil fuels and prevent pollution.  After reducing energy consumption wherever possible through innovative applications, the remaining greenhouse gas emissions will be mitigated through carbon offsets. 

  • Hydrogen Fuel Cells to supply power to red carpet lights;
  • Multi-passenger vehicles instead of individual limos to reduce vehicle miles driven;
  • Solar (2009-2014) power used on red carpet, press center, and to power vehicles at the golf course;
  • Hybrid and flex fuel vehicles used for other transfers;
  • Energy efficient electronics used wherever possible;
  • Using bioplastics instead of petroleum based plastics for all disposable foodservice products;
  • Waste grease collected from venue caterer and concessionaire and turned into biodiesel.


Since 2009:

  • 75% (2009) of vehicles used to transport show talent and VIPs to The ESPYS were hybrid or flex fuel vehicles.
  • The 2009 ESPYS reduced CO2 emissions by 23% from 2008. Every show since then has maintained this lower level of emissions.
  • In 2011-2013, 2015 hydrogen fuel cells were used to provide energy to parts of the show.
  • The 2009-2013 ESPY shows offset their carbon emissions through investments in forest conservation programs. In 2014, ESPN invested in habitat restoration along the LA River.

Virtually Waste-Free
The 2015 ESPYS will again strive for 90% waste diversion for every event surrounding the awards show. This includes two functions, each attended by more than 3,000 people, the ESPN Celebrity Golf Classic, and all the hotels. ESPN will accomplish this goal through innovative waste reduction and recovery strategies, strategic partnerships ensuring proper lifecycle management of materials through careful procurement, and extensive recycling efforts.

In 2014, through comprehensive recycling, composting and responsible purchasing, the ESPYS generated half the total waste of the 2010 event and 85% of all waste was diverted from the landfill.  Results from 2015 events will be posted at

Reduction techniques include:

  • Set and décor elements designed for reuse;
  • Locally rented items used wherever possible;
  • Purchasing consumables locally in bulk to reduce excess packaging waste;
  • Reusable water bottles and refilling stations to eliminate over 2,000 individual single-use bottles;
  • Necessary disposables carefully selected to ensure maximum recycled content, ability to be recycled or composted, and use of renewable and sustainable materials in the manufacturing process;
  • Extensive program to recover every possible recyclable material;
  • Beyond basic recycling of paper and beverage containers, construction and demolition debris, cardboard, food waste, electronics, even cooking grease will also be recycled (see below for specifics).


Awareness and Education Campaign
ESPN has developed an environmental awareness campaign to encourage individual participation beyond the scope of the event, inspire future productions and create lasting impact.

  • Staff specially trained to explain and implement environmental efforts;
  • Sustainable products featured throughout the production, with the environmental benefit of using each item explained;
  • Eco-facts printed on sustainably harvested wood and posted around the theater;
  • Environmental section on to share best practices;


Additional Environmentally Responsible Elements

Environmentally Responsible Purchasing

  • Cups, made from corn and fully biodegradable, and compostable service ware used in all areas including crew catering, press tent, backstage hospitality areas and dressing rooms, and at venue concession stands;
  • The ESPY red carpet is made from over 50,000 recycled water bottles, and will be reused after the event and recycled at the end of its usable life;
  • Forrest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood used wherever possible for set construction;
  • All paper products made from high post-consumer recycled content;
  • Non-toxic hand wash and cleaning products used in ESPY production offices and venue bathrooms;
  • Lanyards for staff credentials made from 100% recycled plastic bottles
  • Key cards for all partner hotels made from sustainably managed wood

The following recyclable materials will be sorted on site in custom designed recycling containers and sent to specialized recycling facilities for maximum recovery:

  • Beverage containers (including, aluminum, plastic and glass)
  • Mixed office paper (including copier paper, newspaper and magazines)
  • Organic waste (food and plant waste) and all compostable products
  • Cardboard
  • Construction materials (including wood, drywall, and metal)
  • Used cooking grease
  • Electronic waste (including printer cartridges, batteries, copper wire).

The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2015 ESPYS will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. Inspiring human stories are showcased through three pillar awards – the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, the Jimmy V Perseverance Award and the Pat Tillman Award for Service. The ESPYS support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993.



Contact:  Diane Lamb, [email protected] or Caroline Schuster, [email protected]






Teri Couch

It's been an amazing journey -- 38 years and counting! Currently I oversee our company archives and manage our media website (ESPN Press Room). I also help out with PR efforts around our partnership with Special Olympics. I am a huge Red Sox fan and a supporter of all things Special Olympics.
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