AUSTIN (KXAN) — At Q2 stadium, the grass is green, but more and more… so is the stadium.
“We have two live intertwined oaks on our badge, tree symbols for our badge… we need to be good stewards of our community,” Senior Vice President of Stadium Operations at Q2 Jordan Enke said.
Just recently his team announced their intention to achieve ‘TRUE Certification’ from the U.S. Green Building Council by reaching the industry standard for “zero waste.”
According to Susie Vincent, from the U.S. Green Building Council, “TRUE is the first ‘zero waste’ certification program that’s dedicated to measuring, improving, and then recognizing ‘zero waste’ performance by encouraging the adoption of sustainable waste management and waste reduction practices.”
The goal is 10% or less contamination meaning 90% or more of the waste coming into Q2 Stadium gets diverted to either recycling or composting.
Already, Q2 stadium has made big improvements in waste diversion since Austin FC started playing in 2021.
According to Enke, “We started with I think… 70% diversion, year two we hit 72% and, this year, just implementing these policies, training our staff… generating so much more awareness with our fans and staff, we’re now at almost 83%.”
To reach the 90% target, Q2 stadium has created several steps to minimize waste.
How Austin FC stays green
“We work with our food and beverage partner very closely to make sure, from the procurement perspective, that they’re purchasing things that are compostable, recyclable, so we’re not tackling this as it already makes its way into our facility,” said Enke.
The next step — ‘Eco-stations’ where fans have a choice of bins to toss their recycling, compost or landfill waste.
Then it heads to the sorting room.
“What we’re doing then is, you know, quite literally sorted across these tables and then we just push them down the shoots, they go into our one of our two compactors down there that are dealing with the recycle or the compost,” Enke explained.
From here the compacted recyclables and compost materials get hauled away for the final step.
“And we call that our material resource facility where they’re going through it for a fourth time,” Enke finalized.
Through a data-driven process, and with major help from the fans that attend the games, Q2 Stadium could be the first soccer-specific stadium in the world to achieve this certification.
“The climate crisis is real, and we need to be, you know, kind of meeting that urgency,” Vincent said.
Not all the wasted food gets composted. Earlier this year, Q2 started donating food to Central Texas food banks to help the environment and the local community.