The Olympic Gold-Medalist Bringing Sustainability to Sports
1996 at the Atlanta Olympic Games, Jill Savery became a gold medalist in synchronized swimming. Now, still an influential force in the industry, she works with major events and venues to promote sustainable practices, combining her two passions — sports and the environment.
Here are 5 things to know about Jill and her impact on sustainability in sports.
1. She is a former Cal Bear, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She later went on to get her masters at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where she tailored her studies to specifically involve sports and sustainability.
2. Jill worked as the Head of Sustainability for the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco, developing a program which aimed at achieving a zero waste and carbon neutral event.
“It’s a big challenge, especially because you’re under a time crunch, a budget crunch, and you’re trying to deliver a high-quality product — the sporting event itself,” said Savery in reference to the 2013 sailing event.
3. Jill lead the America’s Cup program that decided to eliminate single-use plastic drinking bottles from the SF event in 2013.
“It had never been done before for an event of this scale. Plastic pollution in the marine environment is a major problem, and it’s creating gyres of plastic in our oceans.”
Globelet, a leader in providing reusable cups to major events, similarly works to reduce single-use plastic waste on a large scale. With high-tech portable dishwashing facilities and cup tracking software, they’ve worked with large stadiums in Australia and have helped 90% of New Zealand festivals go single-use plastic free. Recently incorporated in San Francisco, they have their eyes set on California’s largest festivals, stadiums, and sporting events.
4. Savery recently launched Bristlecone Strategies, a sustainability consulting company, where she is the Sustainability Director.
5. She has worked with the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games to implement sustainable practices into all aspects of the event.