Roger McClendon has been appointed as the new executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, an organisation that seeks to promote sustainability amongst sports venues, leagues and teams.

McClendon will lead the alliance of international sports and stadium executives, as well as sustainability experts, to use sports as a vehicle to promote healthy, sustainable communities throughout the world. McClendon’s hire is part of a broader introduction of new executive and board leadership.

“I look forward to taking the Alliance to the next level and ensuring sports plays a key role in the global sustainability movement, focused on measurable impact,” McClendon said. “Along with our board, members and staff, we are poised to develop the Alliance’s vision, while leveraging global innovation and strategic partnerships, to improve the social and environmental well-being of future generations.”

McClendon joins Green Sports Alliance with extensive experience in sustainability, business and sports. McClendon was the first-ever chief sustainability officer for Yum! Brands, whose holdings include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants. He also led the development of Blueline, a sustainable design guide for restaurants built on the LEED certification program.

In addition to McClendon’s selection, the Alliance has also welcomed the addition of six new board directors as part of an effort to bring new leadership, energy and diversity to the organisation. The appointments include Elaine Aye, associate regional manager, RWDI; Dune Ives, executive director, Lonely Whale; Kunal Merchant, managing director, Lotus Advisory; Jill Savery, founder and CEO, Bristlecone Strategies; Cyrus Wadia, former vice-president of sustainable business and innovation at Nike; and Jamie Zaninovich, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, Pac-12 Conference.

“The Green Sports Alliance is uniquely positioned to lead a vital conversation about sports and sustainability that grows more promising and urgent by the day,” said Merchant. “I’m thrilled to join with Roger, the board, and our entire network to further the Alliance’s work at a moment where bold, transformative, and inclusive action is needed more than ever.”

The Alliance, which is headquartered in the US city of Portland, seeks to inspire professional sports leagues, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices. Alliance members now number nearly 600 organisations representing teams, leagues, and venues in 14 countries.