Editor’s Note: Earth Day is Friday, April 22. This week, Front Row will highlight some of the ways ESPN and its employees are working to promote environmental awareness.
ESPN’s focus on sustainability and protecting the environment has been readily embraced by many, including ESPN’s Global Security Department with the addition of electric-powered transport vehicles and personal mobility vehicles.
Dave Aflalo, ESPN Director of Facility Security says, “Over one third of our security fleet vehicles are fully electric. The latest addition of the GEMs (Global Electric Motorcars) and T3s will be used to patrol the campus and transport visitors to their building destinations. “
I buckled up and joined Dave on a ride, which is much like riding in a tricked-out golf cart. The ride was surprisingly smooth and the tarp doors easy enough to handle. It’s not going to win the Indy 500, but at 15 mph, it fits with the speed limit on the Bristol campus.
The upside: It runs on rechargeable gel batteries which hold up for an entire shift, is virtually maintenance free and can fit up to six passengers.
“It has no gasoline powered engine, produces no tailpipe emission and introduces no carbon into the atmosphere and therefore reduces our carbon footprint here on campus. They are also more cost-efficient per mile to operate than gas-powered vehicles. There really isn’t any downside to operating them in our campus setting,” says Aflalo.
Patrolling campus on a three-wheel T3, a personal mobility vehicle that fits into tight spaces, gives security personnel much better access and can replace a gasoline-powered vehicle in good weather conditions.
Besides ESPN Global Security’s focus on reducing the carbon footprint on campus, ESPN engages in a variety of sustainability initiatives and composts 14 tons of food waste each quarter; purchases exclusively 50% recycled paper; diverts almost 70% of ESPN’s waste from trash to energy plant and its newest buildings, such as the childcare center, meet the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification criteria.
Gerard Arrotti, Senior Director Facility Safety and Health, adds: “ESPN’s sustainability strategy encompasses energy conservation, water conservation, reducing direct and indirect emissions, and reducing waste.
“We also seek to educate and inspire our employees to action by holding electronics recycling drives on campus and recycling old sneakers. We’ll also be holding an energy conservation session on Earth Day that will focus on how employees can reduce energy consumption in their home; every employee attending will get a free CFL bulb and be eligible for a drawing that will [award the winner] a home energy audit.”