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USC Repeats As Overall Winner of Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge for 2021-22 Basketball Season

Jun 16, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Following its overall win of the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge for the 2021 football season, USC was again selected as the overall winner of the challenge for the 2021-22 basketball season, earning the Trojans a sweep of the 2021-22 campaign. The Trojans have now earned the overall recognition four times, also including the 2017 and 2016 football seasons. The announcement was made today (June 16) during a special awards ceremony at the 2022 Pac-12 Sustainability Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

This latest award was achieved through USC's Zero Waste campaign at the Trojans' January 29 men's basketball game against California. There, USC accomplished a 91.8% diversion rate with 662 pounds in recycling and 500 pounds in compost. In an effort to establish the Zero Waste game as part of the campus' larger effort to prioritize sustainability, USC implemented a pregame awareness and engagement campaign for fans and provided waste disposal tips and instructions. 

USC's President, Dr. Carol Folt, recorded a promotional video to raise awareness for the Zero Waste game, advocating for support from the Trojan community and connecting the green efforts from the men's basketball and football programs. Additionally, Facilities Planning Management partnered with the Office of Sustainability to hold a social media takeover to educate fans on proper waste disposal and reduction practices. Also at the event, USC partnered with the SC Garden Club and allowed students to man a gameday engagement table and provide education pertaining to the university's larger sustainability goals. 

USC's Zero Waste Game also garnered the Trojans national honors as the winner of the National Wildlife Federation's GameDay Basketball Diversion category in the 2022 Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition.

A core pillar of Pac-12 Team Green, the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge is held annually during both football and basketball seasons. Each university selects one home football and one home basketball game to compete and provide a platform for engaging on best practices in waste diversion. As part of the competition, each competing university submitted a scorecard detailing the efforts around its Zero Waste game. Criteria is weighted as such: 25 percent participation and partnerships, 25 percent innovation credit and 50 percent stadium diversion rate.
More information on the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge is available at