2020 Conference Program Call for Speakers and Sessions Now Open



  • October 22, 2019 - Call for proposals issued
  • December 6, 2019 - Deadline for proposal submissions
  • January 31, 2020 - Selection decisions announced
  • March 24, 2020 - Program announced
  • June 23-24, 2020 - Pac-12 Sustainability Conference Date

2019 Conference Program



Tuesday, June 25, 2019


12:00-3:00pm Through the HanesBrands Day of Service, you have the opportunity to learn more and directly impact one of the most challenging problems we face as a society - homelessness. Each year, an estimated 11 million Americans - millions who are employed - sleep in shelters, transitional/temporary housing or public places not meant for human habitation. Seattle-King County has the third-largest homeless population in the nation behind Los Angeles and New York City. Although a very complex issue, Mark Horvath, founder of the nonprofit organization Invisible People, believes that it is also very solvable. And the first step is a very simple one -- acknowledging that the victims are people. Regular people. Fathers. Mothers. Veterans. Whole families. Even Mark, who has experienced homelessness. Folks who fell on hard times for any number of reasons and lost the core foundation of being human in their homes. HanesBrands, Mark, local leaders fighting homelessness in Seattle and a limited number of attendees (based on order of registration) will hit the streets for a sock-donation event.

Sign up to help distribute socks and know that you will be providing some comfort to those who need it most and have an opportunity to talk with and hear their stories firsthand. A true win-win!

Space is limited. Day of Service spots will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis. RSVP to audrey@pac-12sustainabilityconference.com to save your spot!
12:00-12:45pm
Mark Horvath | Founder, Invisible People - Jim Houston Boardroom Husky Stadium
Husky Stadium underwent a major renovation in 2012. Throughout the design and construction process, steps were taken to create an environmentally friendly building while using a sustainable construction plan. The renovated Husky Stadium is recognized as a model of success in facility renovation. Husky Stadium project is LEED Silver certified for design, construction and sustainable operating practices. The tour will take participant on the field and through back of house areas to provide participants with an overview of the stadium's sustainable features.
Led by: Chip Lydum | Associate Athletic Director, University of Washington
Meet Up Location: Conibear Shellhouse Lobby | 3896 Walla Walla Road, Seattle, WA 98195
The Union Bay Natural Area is a public wildlife area, natural restoration laboratory, and an important habitat next to Lake Washington. At 74 acres, with 4 miles of shoreline, it is the second largest natural system left on the lake. Considered one of the best bird-watching sites in the city of Seattle, over 200 species of birds have been sighted here. The tour will follow the shore next to Husky Stadium and other athletic facilities. Bring your (waterproof) camera and expect to see blue heron, loons, turtles and bald eagles.
Meet Up Location: CenturyLink west entrance or meet at UW Light Link Rail Station at 3:30pm
CenturyLink Field is a 68,000 seat stadium and is the home field for the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders FC. of Major League Soccer (MLS). We will tour the field and back of house areas with a focus on sustainable infrastructure and practices. Directions here.
Led by: Christy Briggs | Logistics and Sustainability Manager, CenturyLink Field
5:30-7:30pm
Welcome: Jamie Zaninovich | Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, Pac-12 Conference
Bill Walton
Former UCLA student-athlete, NBA player, and ESPN and Pac-12 Networks on-air talent

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

University of Washington Husky Stadium - Club Husky

8:00-9:00am
8:45-8:50am
Emcee: Mike Yam | Host, Pac-12 Networks
Erin O'Connell | Senior Associate Athletic Director, University of Washington
8:50-9:10am
Jamie Zaninovich | Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, Pac-12 Conference
9:10-9:15am
9:15-9:30am
Richard Gerstein | Global Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Unifi, Inc.
9:30-10:30am This panel will bring together experienced sports marketers, rights holders, and brand representatives to review and discuss examples of sports sustainability sponsorships, their strategic approach, value-propositions for various stakeholders, activations tactics, media coverage and influence on fan engagement and fan behaviors.
Moderator: Dave Newport | Director, Environmental Center, University of Colorado Boulder
Megan Eisenhard | Vice President Campus+, Learfield/IMG College
Eric Moncrief | Founder, The Talk with Green Guy Show and Green Guy Media
Kirk Myers | Director of Sustainability, Alaska Airlines
Pete Waldron | President, L2 Brands
10:30-11:00am
11:00am-12:00pm The key to efficiency when greening athletics events is communication and collaboration across all departments. This includes participation from the campus sustainability staff, facilities department, athletics marketing department, athlete development, dining and more. Learn from sports sustainability leaders about how to establish direct lines of communication to ensure that all teams are operationally working together during athletic events. You will gain insight about how to increase the breadth of communication in reaching fans, through social media and in-game announcements, but also through fan engagement with the help of student athletes and volunteers. With communication and collaboration, sustainability efforts and operations can become standardized, communications will be clearer and more streamlined, and support for the waste reduction and zero waste activities will increase. The cross collaboration and communication between the different parties involved harvest a more efficient process throughout the different aspects of greening athletics.

Sponsored by

Moderator: Karen Baebler | Assistant Athletic Director, Sports Operations, University of Washington
Bonny Bentzin | Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, UCLA
Michelle La | Zero Waste Specialist, UC Berkeley
The focus of this panel will be to highlight energy and operations efficiencies at various Pac-12 institutions, including University of Washington, University of Colorado Boulder and Stanford. This discussion will highlight institutional and athletic departmental goals around energy conservation - from lighting retrofits to controls optimization, green building certifications, and existing/future plans on renewables such as solar. Join us and learn about the energy efficiencies projects Pac-12 athletic departments are integrating, planning and developing. Discover what it means to be energy efficient and how renewable energy can be integrated on campus, particularly within athletics facilities. Campus leaders will share the ties between sustainability, energy, athletics, capital planning and how to effectively bridge those gaps to execute sustainable energy practices and projects.

Sponsored by

Introduction by: Chris Linkous | Field Sales Manager, Greenworks
Dale Silha | Vice President Energy and Technical Services, McKinstry
Ellen Edwards | Energy Manager, CU Boulder
Chip Lydum | Associate Athletic Director, Operations & Capital Projects, University of Washington
Chuck Young | Director of Facility Operations, University of Washington
Moira Hafer | Building Sustainability Program Manager, Office of Sustainability, Stanford University
12:00-1:00pm
12:30-1:00pm During each football and basketball season, Pac-12 campuses compete with each other in pursuit of a zero waste home game in each season 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. Join us for our 2019 Awards Ceremony that recognizes winners that have generated the most impact on their campuses to move towards zero waste and be creative on developing best practices, through reuse, recycling, and composting or by working with partners to drive impactful changes.
Football - Overall Winner: Angie Gilbert | Zero Waste Events Coordinator, Environmental Center, University of Colorado Boulder
Football - Fan Engagement: Karen Baebler | Assistant Athletic Director, Sports Operations University of Washington
Football - Fan Engagement: Daimon Eklund | Communications Coordinator, UW Sustainability
Football - Student-Athlete Engagement: Alexis Alexander | Digital Engagement Program Manager, University Sustainability Practices, Arizona State University
Football - Student-Athlete Engagement: Kelsey Gaude | Program Manager, Zero Waste, Arizona State University
Football - Most Improved: Elliott Tritz | Assistant Director, Event Management, Athletics, University of Arizona
Basketball - Overall and Student Athlete Engagement: Lin King | Cal Zero Waste Manager, University of California
Basketball - Fan Engagement: Kelsey Gaude | Program Manager, Zero Waste, Arizona State University
Basketball - Most Improved: Kayla Shirey | Associate Director of Athletic Operations, UCLA
1:00-1:15pm
1:15-2:15pm While athletics is an area with great potential for increased sustainability, the practical nature of increasing sustainability in athletic departments is not often captured or taught in the classroom. This session will provide attendees with an understanding of how to promote and include athletics into a sustainability curriculum, either through coordination with environmental or sustainability programs or through direct curricula development inclusive of athletic sustainability. We will examine three student research case studies, one at the Pac-12 gymnastics Championship done by University of Utah, one at University of Washington, and the other at NCAA Women's Triathlon National Championship done by Arizona State University.
Ayrel Clark-Proffitt | Sustainability Engagement, University of Utah 
Jeff Rose | Assistant Professor-Parks, Recreation & Tourism, University of Utah
Alexa Schreier | Predoctoral Instructor, Program on the Environment, University of Washington
This session will provide an overview of a study conducted for NatureWorks by the Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, insert something about UW athletics case study here, and the case study of creative re-use activity at Cal's Pac-12 Zero Waste Football Competition game. In Cal's case study they tabled at the Blue & Gold zone, a heavily populated concourse next to the concession stands, at the Pac-12 Zero Waste football game. The location of this table was an ideal spot to engage fans of all ages and to highlight the importance of creatively reusing materials to avoid sending them to the landfill. They experienced positive fan engagement turnout and were able to share the message of re-use and zero waste with many people while educating fans about the Pac-12 Zero Waste Competition. CMA will present about the design and implementation of a solid waste study focused on food service with a deep dive into what specific food service packaging items make up the composting collection stream when a full suite of compostable products are employed in food service operations. Learn data on what is still being landfilled and the potential benefits of a higher level of food waste diversion when compostable systems include the right food service packaging.
Chuck Young | Director of Facility Operations, University of Washington 
Lin King | Manager, Cal Zero Waste, University of California
Izzy Parnell-Wolfe | Zero Waste Specialist, Cal Zero Waste 
Susan Thoman | Managing Director, Compost Manufacturing Alliance 
Julia Wetstein | Zero Waste Director, Vegware Packaging Inc.
2:15-2:45pm
2:45-3:45pm College athletic departments are deepening their commitment to environmental sustainability. Their efforts are reaching a point where they are engaging their fans and other spectators to participate in these initiatives to alleviate the athletic department's environmental impact. Unfortunately, most college athletic departments engaging in environmental sustainability initiatives do not have the dedicated resources (e.g., financial, human) to properly create, launch, and evaluate marketing campaigns that engage fans to increase awareness, participation, and promote environmental advocacy among fans. Athletic departments often approach sustainability marketing campaigns like any other strategic marketing campaign (e.g., selling tickets, soliciting donations, promoting sponsors). However, sustainability campaigns should be marketed uniquely given the different ways in which these campaigns resonate with fans compared to other featured marketing campaigns. Learn about creative pilot projects and how multiple facilities and operations partners have leveraged the power and platform of sports to educate fans, improve operations, and empower students to incorporate sustainability into day-to-day practices and have greater overall impact.
Brian McCullough | Associate Professor, Seattle University
Dr. Galen Trail | Professor of Marketing & Sport Business Leadership, Seattle University 
Alexis Alexander | Digital Engagement Program Manager, ASU University Sustainability Practices 
Jason Hodin | Senior Research Scientist, Go Team Go Green 
Join us to hear about certifications and assessments you can apply to your sports sustainability work. In this session you will hear from the Council for Responsible Sport about the responsible sport certification program, from UCSB about PACES (Program for the Assessment and Certification for the Environment and Sustainability) Event Assessments and Green Sports and Athletics Assessments, from Hunter Industries about CSR, stakeholder engagement and materiality matrix applications and UC Boulder Ralphie's Green Stampede about their Sustainability Impact Assessment case study and Athletic Sustainability Impact Report.
Naomi Carrillo | Green Certification Coordinator, University of California, Santa Barbara
Bryce Carnehl | Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Hunter Industries 
Matthew Bone | Student Lead, Ralphie's Green Stampede, University of Colorado, Boulder 
Nicole Chernick | External Relations Coordinator, Ralphie's Green Stampede, University of Colorado, Boulder
3:45-4:00pm
4:00-5:00pm The student athlete voice has never been more important when engaging your college sports fans and the campus population as a whole. Three student athletes leading the way from Pac-12 member institutions show how they are effectively helping to drive sustainable development and social justice impact projects forward with their influence on campus and utilizing their increasingly powerful voice for influencing collegiate sports fans and the general public to do good.
Moderator: Cheryl Wong | Assistant Commissioner, Sport Management and Championships, Pac-12 Conference
Elijah Winstead Maesner | University of Washington Men's Rowing
Sophia Thomas | University of Arizona Women's Tennis
Claire Williams | Oregon State University Women's Rowing
5:00-5:30pm
Interview by: Mike Yam | Host, Pac-12 Networks
Taylor Graham | Vice President of Business Operations & Marketing, Seattle Sounders
5:30-6:00pm Comprising a format based on dialogue, this session centers on the issues of racial equity and the attendant matter of elucidating a principle of justice for prospective solutions. Racial equity and justice reside within the very defining features of 'Sustainability'. With the advent of Jackie Robinson's entry into the MLB, the question of the role of sports, as crucial to the advancement of racial equity, has captured the attention of both scholars and activists for social change with Robinson's college athletic moorings beginning with the Pacific Coast Conference (i.e, the precursor to the Pac-8/10/12 at UCLA). Racial inequity and injustice remain essentially systemic and institutional in character. Join us to learn how to prioritize mandates developing policies that facilitate fundamental changes in the institutional structures that shape our human ecology and fostering sustainability in its wider dimensional focus.
Roger McClendon | Executive Director, Green Sports Alliance
Dr. John H. McClendon | Professor, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University
6:00-7:00pm
Introduction: CJ Pennington | President, Proud Source Water
Moira Hafer | Building Sustainability Program Manager, Office of Sustainability, Stanford University

Identifying new products to use can be tricky. Knowing all your options, understanding the cost differences, implementing custom designs, ensuring they're sustainable features, and making sure fans will know how to sort them properly are all barriers to adopting more sustainable concessions products in our campus sports venues. Come visit the exhibit table during the networking reception where we will feature all types of concessions products and signage from Pac-12 schools to physically demonstrate the array of compostable and recyclable options available and how Pac-12 schools are using them. You will have an opportunity to provide input and test the your sorting skills in order to collect feedback on the types of products being used and how to make them even better.

Click here to view the 2018 and 2017 programs.