Sustainability: Women to Watch in Sports

09 November 2023
Photo of Erin Keuht in black blazer with white and gray context background.


In a notable acknowledgment of her outstanding contributions to the intersection of sports and environmental sustainability, Erin Kueht, an expert in the field, has been featured in Sports Business Journal’s “Sustainability: Ones to Watch” series. The recognition places her alongside other influential women who have pioneered impactful initiatives in the realm of sports sustainability. The sports industry has increasingly become a focal point for environmental responsibility, and Kueht’s inclusion in this distinguished list is a testament to her commitment to driving positive change.

SBJ’s Ones to Watch series sheds light on 11 women who, much like Kueht, have emerged as catalysts for behavioral change in sports and beyond. What ties these leaders together is a shared journey of realizing the imperative need for action in environmental sustainability, even if it wasn’t their initial career trajectory. While victory on the field remains a paramount objective, these women are disrupting norms, sharing best practices, and spearheading a movement to foster widespread environmental responsibility across teams, venues, and various sectors of the sports landscape.

Becoming more efficient

Engineers continue to be critical for the sports industry to achieve its venues’ sustainability goals. Especially on the mechanical-electrical-plumbing side, engineers can help venue operators achieve water and energy usage reductions. “We’re becoming more efficient on operating buildings so the pie chart is becoming wider on how you’re building your building and the materials you’re putting into it,” says Keuht.

Kueht is a structural engineer focused on the next challenge for the sports venue building industry—reducing embodied carbon. “The more efficient you can make the design, the less materials you use, therefore the less embodied carbon you put in there,” said Kueht. “You want to optimize your construction materials and cement is the most carbon-embodied part of concrete, so we can reduce that.”

Based in Houston, the 16-year engineer has been central to, and in some cases, led project teams that built Churchill Downs, Kyle Field, Racing Louisville and most recently, Acrisure Arena in California. She also often oversees LEED certification efforts on her projects.

Kueht is a mainstay of our sustainable design community practice. She’s looking at ways to incorporate mass timber into her projects, while keeping busy with renovation projects that include retrofitting roofs and facades to make space for solar panels. 

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