Australian Open

Hershkowitz’s visit coincided with the Australian Open and some of the most destructive fires to grip the nation. Climate change represents an existential threat to the future of Australia’s premier summer sporting events but the American was buoyed after speaking with Matt Nicholas, Head of Major Projects & Sustainability at Tennis Australia.

“This year I think the Australian Open has really enhanced its internal resources committed to sustainability. They have developed a much more robust vision related to this issue and an implementation strategy from on-site energy acquisition and energy efficiency to relationships with their sponsors and vendors as well as fan education.

“I put (Nicholas) in touch with the folks at the US Open, Roland-Garros and Wimbledon and made a number of presentations to his colleagues and also the sponsors so they can understand the emerging sustainability program at the Australian Open.”

Hershkowitz added that the impact of the fires on the Australian Open helped focus global attention on the climate crisis.

“Because frankly I think had the fires not coincided with the Australian Open the world would have paid less attention to what’s going on here.”