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Montreal: August 3, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Toronto: August 4, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Montreal : August 3 - 12, 2024
Toronto : August 4 - 12, 2024
Tournament News

Earth Day: Tennis Canada and the NBO celebrate sustainability initiatives

First celebrated on April 22, 1970, Earth Day is the largest participatory environmental movement on the planet. As people around the world celebrate planet earth, its natural beauty, and a collective commitment to protect it, Tennis Canada and the National Bank Open presented by Rogers also reflect on all that’s being done to ensure our organization and major international events are as sustainable as possible.

For several years, Tennis Canada has been working tirelessly to minimize its environmental footprint to become a sustainability leader in Canada and throughout the world by 2030. In doing so, we want to leave a lasting and positive legacy for fans, players, and communities by hosting world-class tournaments in Toronto and Montreal that are environmentally and socially responsible.

Through four priority pillars, Tennis Canada has introduced many initiatives during the National Bank Opens, from on-site waste sorting stations (Residual Materials and Water Management pillar) and surplus food donations (Social Responsibility pillar), to the creation of a multi-departmental sustainability committee (Communication pillar) and the implementation of public transportation partnerships with STM and the TTC, giving fans the ability to ride for free during our events (Energy and Emissions Management pillar).

In 2023, Tennis Canada released Sustainable Development Reports for the NBO in Toronto and Montreal, reviewing the impact of the many measures taken to mitigate the repercussions of hosting the two major tournaments. Here, we deep dive on two of those initiatives, one in each city:

Sobeys Stadium Centre Court resurfaced using recycled tennis balls

The players competing at the National Bank Open in Toronto each year all have the same goal: claiming the title on Sobeys Stadium’s Centre Court. As Italy’s Jannik Sinner held the iconic NBO trophy aloft after a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Australia’s Alex de Minaur last August, one of the tournament’s major sustainability initiatives was hiding in plain sight beneath a mound of confetti.

Shortly before the event got underway, the finishing touches were being made to the 15-acre venue. A round-the-clock undertaking for Tennis Canada’s operations team, the weeks leading up to the tournament involve many complex logistics to juggle – none more important than the playing surface itself. Though, you probably be intrigued to know that 2023’s court was more a product of the 2022 tournament than you might have expected.

That’s because, in collaboration with RecycleBalls Canada, 1,400 tennis balls from the previous year’s NBO were collected and recycled to create the base coat for the paint used to resurface the 2023 Centre Court. “There is a fair bit of waste around old balls in tennis, so to find a way to put those balls to good use is exciting and drives the sustainability of the event,” said Daniel Thorpe, Director of Sobeys Stadium.

“Our approach also prioritized sustainability by scraping off old paint, avoiding unnecessary asphalt waste and heavy rebuild machinery, thereby saving costs, resources and improving our environmental performance,” he added.

This was just one of the many sustainability efforts made by the tournament in 2023. Click here to consult the full 2023 Sustainable Development Report for the NBO in Toronto.

A new electrical reserve at the IGA Stadium to counter carbon emissions

For several years now, the National Bank Open (NBO) in Montreal has been implementing initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, better manage its energy expenses, and position itself as one of the greenest sporting events in North America. Some of its flagship actions in this regard are well known to fans, especially the partnership between the tournament and the Société de transport de Montréal, which allows all NBO ticket holders to ride the city's bus and metro network for free upon presentation of tickets.

However, in 2023, one of the tournament's most significant innovations in reducing carbon emissions went unnoticed, despite its very large size

Indeed, Tennis Canada acquired a new Termaco Electrical Reserve last year, a 100% Quebec-designed and manufactured energy storage system that replaced the diesel generators formerly used by television trucks and essential for holding professional events at the IGA Stadium.

In total, nearly 33 tonnes of CO2 were avoided during the last edition of the tournament thanks to this new technology, representing more than 10% of the total emissions calculated the previous year. This energy reduction also led to significant benefits for fans: improved air quality on the south facade of Centre Court, as well as reduced noise pollution by eliminating generators.

"Tennis Canada is thrilled with the implementation of our new electrical reserve at the IGA Stadium," says Geneviève Marchand, Director of Operations at the IGA Stadium. "While we have already made significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the National Bank Open last year, we are even more excited about the future, as it is important to note that this innovation will have positive impacts throughout the year."

This was just one of the many sustainability efforts made by the tournament in 2023. Click here to consult the full 2023 Sustainable Development Report for the NBO in Montreal.