Tennis Goes Green
Roland Garros 2008
by ATP Staff|
You need the right partner to win on the doubles court. Same goes in the fight against climate change. That, in a nutshell, is HEAD's philosophy.
A leader in racquet sports and skiing equipment, HEAD is taking a page out of tennis' playbook as part of its green initiative. Rather than going it alone in a game of singles, HEAD has found the ultimate doubles partner, Cool Earth, a global environmental charity that protects rainforests, which is something many believe will help counteract global warming.
Under this agreement, which started last year, HEAD purchases 7,000 acres of rainforest each year. To put that into perspective, 7,000 acres is the equivalent of more than 100,000 tennis courts, 7,000 American football fields, or 3,650 FIFA soccer fields. Those are numbers any sports fan can appreciate. Overall, Cool Earth has saved over 35,000 acres of forests. Preserving this land is critical in the fight against global warming, as rainforests lock up atmospheric carbon in their vegetation to the tune of 150 tons of carbon per half-acre. "Educating sports enthusiasts about the effects of carbon emissions is an important part of why we're doing this," says HEAD CEO
Johan Eliasch, a co-founder of Cool Earth who owns 400,000 acres of rainforest himself and serves as the Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Deforestation and Clean Energy in the United Kingdom. "We all depend on a stable climate to ski, play tennis, or dive [the three main sports HEAD services]. If we don't wake up and make a difference now, we won't be doing these things in their natural environments much longer."
Penn, a division of HEAD, has also been sending scraps of rubber left over from the manufacturing of tennis balls to a company that uses them for rubberized asphalt. And they recommend that schools recycle balls by putting them under desk legs to reduce noise levels in classrooms. Educating consumers will be key to HEAD's ecoefforts.
All products HEAD sells worldwide under the HEAD, Penn, Tyrolia,and Mares brands will feature information about Cool Earth and the global warming issue. So next time you pick up, say, a MicroGEL Prestige or a can of Penn Championship balls, you'll not only be using gear that pros like Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet or Amelie Mauresmo play with, you'll also be able to learn how to become more environmentally minded and responsible. There's star power behind the initiative, with Olympic medalist and World Champion ski racer Bode Miller, among others, headlining the ad campaign "Don't Pray for Snow. Do Something."
On the tennis front, 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and ATP Top 10 player Richard Gasquet can be seen in similar testimonials that read, "Don't Whine About the Climate. Do Something."
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