March Madness will be carbon neutral event

The NCAA and Indiana Sports Corp, in partnership with AES Indiana, Heritage Interactive Services, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability, have announced that venue operations of all practices and games during the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will be carbon neutral. 

Heritage Interactive Services, a division of Heritage Environmental Services, is partnering with ClimeCo to contribute offsets to mitigate the tournament's carbon footprint. The Heritage/ClimeCo team reviewed historic emissions factors across the seven various venues, including electricity, gas, steam, and chilled water, to estimate the total carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) produced during each game and practice. 

Based on initial projections, required offsets are anticipated to be over 5,500 tonnes of CO2e, comparable to taking 1,188 cars off the road for one year. 

AES Indiana, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), will purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) and apply them toward electricity usage at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indiana Farmers Coliseum and the Indiana Convention Center. It is estimated that, during the tournament, 2,135,352 kilowatt-hours of energy will be used at the practice and tournament facilities combined. That is equivalent to the amount of electricity it takes to power approximately 2,200 households in Indiana for one full month.  

Following the event, actual emissions data will be used to determine the carbon offsets and RECs necessary for Heritage Interactive Services and AES Indiana to purchase to balance the CO2e generated by March Madness. 

IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability will lead these efforts by collecting operations data from all tournament venues during practice and game days and conducting a greenhouse gas emission assessment. The data will be used to quantify the greenhouse gas footprint, and this will determine the amount of carbon offsets necessary to achieve a carbon neutral March Madness. 

These purchases will ensure that the tournament is operationally carbon neutral from the time teams arrive in Indiana to after the national championship on April 5. 

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