By UW Sustainability | Nov 24, 2015

UW's ENVIR 480: Sustainability Studio class in the Program on the Environment presents students with a sustainability topic which they engage in as part of an experiential learning course. The topics change each quarter - this spring, the students researched the UW's environmental history. This is part of a series of posts by the students on some of the information they uncovered.

Montlake Boulevard has been home to Husky football since 1919 when UW began constructing its very first stadium. The stadium has undergone several renovations and expansions since it was first constructed.

The most recent renovation took place in 2012. For these renovations, the goal was to create an environmentally friendly and sustainable building. While the beginning stages of this renovation were to create a great setting for college football, sustainability was always a part of the focus. During construction, locally sourced materials were also used and over 95% of the construction waste was reused or recycled. In order to adhere to Salmon Safe practices, retention ponds filtered all waste water from the site. The renovation included many energy and water saving features, and the stadium is expected to receive LEED certification.

With the renovation in place, UW has also created a waste diversion program. Throughout the creation and implementation of this program, several tactics were in place. These included reverse sorting (sorting out garbage instead of sorting out recycling), compostable packaging (everything in the stadium is recyclable or compostable), and the "Go Purple, Be Gold & Green" campaign.

While UW has taken a huge step forward in combining sports and sustainability, more can always be done. With the number of things that can be done at Husky Stadium, there is always the possibly of spreading sustainability out to other athletics, including Alaska Airlines Arena or Husky Ballpark. Spreading sustainability across sports platforms can ultimately help UW notch up on the campus sustainability radar!

By Miki Frank

For more information on the environmental history of UW, see our interactive timeline "A Century of Sustainability" at