Tigres UANL indomitable ‘Green’ spirit



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Marisol Rodriguez at Coliseum US 2023 Image: Coliseum GSVA

Marisol Rodríguez Hernández is a true environmentalist and it is due to her unwavering determination and spirit that has led to the top-flight club of Mexico Tigres UANL home – the University Stadium in Mexico – turning into the first zero waste stadium in the country.

Hernández has been associated with the sports industry for 15 years. She started with human resources (HR) and worked all the way up and today she is the Social Innovative Leader for Tigres UANL of Mexico.

Her areas of expertise are Social Innovation and Human Resources and are constantly seeking to generate value by means of the social impact programs in education, inclusion, environment, and quality of life through the Tigres Foundation.

Marisol Rodríguez Hernández, Social Innovation Leader, Tigres UANL, Mexico, in a candid chat with ‘Coliseum’ tells that it was an uphill task to make the University Stadium the first zero-waste stadium in Mexico because the concerned authorities were not very open to the idea and neither the Government of Mexico is proactive about sustainability matters. But combined efforts made Hernández and her team come up trumps.
 

Tigres UANL

The Tigres de México, and often abbreviated to Tigres UANL or Tigres, is a Mexican professional football club based in the Monterrey metropolitan area, Nuevo León, Mexico. It plays in the Liga MX, the top professional football division in Mexico. The 42,000-capacity University Stadium in San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico, serves as their residence.

Marisol Rodríguez Hernández started off by informing that they have long been mulling to build a new stadium for the Tigres UANL and a land deal for the same has been inked – “We will hopefully be moving to a new stadium in the next four to five years and presently, even though we do not boast a swanky facility, our matches are all sold out. We also boast one of the most passionate fans in Mexico.”
 

Tigres Foundation

She narrated, “I started the Tigres Foundation 10 years ago from scratch and we learned a lot in our 10-year journey. To make it the first zero-waste stadium in Mexico was full of challenges and we work in tandem with CEMEX (a Mexican multinational building materials company which manufactures and distributes cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates in more than 50 countries), our Co-Owner, to generate green energy that will produce cement from the consumption of non-recyclable waste as an alternative fuel. Our hard work has paid off and the Liga MX recognizes us as the leaders in social innovation in the sports industry in Mexico. We do environment, social and governance (ESG) strategies hand in hand with CEMEX and transform the waste generated through our operations into alternative energy.”
 

Environmental, Social and Governance

Environmental, social and corporate governance is a set of considerations, including environmental issues, social issues and corporate governance that can be considered in investing. Investing with ESG considerations are sometimes referred to as responsible investing or, in more proactive cases, impact investing.

The sustainability journey for Hernández and her team was fraught with challenges as the league in Mexico as well as the Government had sustainability issues at the bottom of their list and the “cost was becoming a bigger worry for the authorities rather than the harm done to the environment. Apart from our new facility boasting tech bells and whistles and plush facilities, we want to take ‘Green’ steps in the real sense of the term and not just a photo op opportunity.”

Addressing elephant in the room, she added, “We have co-processed around 215 tonnes of waste and mitigated 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide and it is a good number considering we had faced lot of challenges and now the waste is getting converted into circular economy. We dared to address the subject in a country where the Government was not taking any initiative and was not at all driven by issues concerning the environment, we were constantly evaluating our club to see where it was standing in waste management and how the public and the fans response was, and we were willing to make changes in the real sense of the term.”
 

Sum-up

Marisol Rodríguez Hernández summed up by stating, “If there is a strong will, one can always mitigate the environmental footprint and it does not have to be a big investment. We took the entire initiative in the right spirit and we also have plans to utilize the plastic for better means in the future.”

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