Your favorite basketball teams impact their schools and alumni, your TV viewing, your bragging rights, and a lot more – but what about their impact on the environment? As energized fans complete their upcoming basketball tournament brackets ahead of the first tip-offs on Tuesday, Booz Allen Hamilton today released an interactive tool that allows fans to calculate the environmental impact of each team on a bracket. “With so much excitement about the tournament, our own team wanted to take a unique look at this popular sporting event,” said Gary Rahl, Booz Allen Senior Vice President. “Most people don’t look at the tournament from an environmental perspective, but this is an interesting way to show how people – the teams, the fans, the venues -- impact the environment.” “The most important element of our team rankings is not to label teams as bad or good for the environment, but to give them what every government, business and citizen needs to help make good decisions – information,” Rahl said. To conduct the analysis, Booz Allen borrowed elements of the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach, an industry-accepted technique that assesses potential environmental impacts and helps translate this information into relative, understandable terms. Booz Allen performs more rigorous forms of Life Cycle Analysis for government and commercial clients that want to make decisions based on information about how various activities -- from major construction to employee travel -- might affect the environment. While it is easy to calculate the carbon footprint for a single team’s path to the championship, the objective of the Booz Allen model was to calculate the footprint of the entire tournament using a systems approach. The analysis factors in all possible outcomes from each tournament game and calculates the carbon footprint for each team as it travels on its journey through the tournament. The analysis ranks the different bracket combinations from lowest to highest carbon footprint and compares each footprint to common environmental statistics, such as the average home energy use and annual emissions from cars.
Based on the firm’s analysis:
- The bracket with Louisville winning the tournament would have the smallest carbon footprint in the men’s tournament
- The bracket with St. Mary’s winning the tournament would have the largest carbon footprint in the men’s tournament
- The bracket with Maryland winning the tournament would have the smallest carbon footprint in the women’s tournament
- The bracket with UCLA winning the tournament would have the largest carbon footprint impact in the women’s tournament