More pro sports teams going green


Share
Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2012, 11:30 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
Dear EarthTalk: How eco-friendly are professional sports leagues and their teams? Which stand out especially for their green efforts? -- Al Simpson, Medina, Ohio

A: Professional sports, like many other pursuits, are getting greener every day. While pro leagues and teams traditionally have been the last to go green, it has all changed in recent years.

Maybe it's the fact that wasting less saves money. Or that going green generates good public relations. Or that it's just the right thing to do. Whether it's any or all-of-the-above, professional sports certainly have never been greener.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, a leading environmental nonprofit, has worked with several sports teams and leagues to green their operations, and has bundled a collection of case studies into a recently released report, "Game Changer: How the Sports Industry is Saving the Environment."

One example is how baseball's San Francisco Giants have so far saved 171,000 kilowatt hours of energy at its stadium, AT+T Park, through a series of lighting retrofits. Another is the building of a 3-megawatt photovoltaic solar array at NASCAR's Pocono Raceway, which offsets 3,100 metric tons of CO2 each year and provides enough power to operate the raceway and 1,000 nearby homes.

Still another is basketball's Minnesota Timberwolves' construction of a 2.5 acre green roof that prevents annually a million gallons of storm water from spilling into the Mississippi River from atop their Minneapolis arena.

NRDC hopes its report can help educate sports professionals, their suppliers and the millions of fans that patronize the teams and their venues about the business case for greening, from achieving cost savings and enhancing brands to developing new sponsorship opportunities and strengthening community ties.

To further these goals, NRDC, along with Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc., launched the Green Sports Alliance in 2010, bringing together venue operators, team executives and scientists to exchange information and develop solutions to their environmental challenges.

The findings gathered are made available to Alliance members so they can better understand how sporting events can be performed in an environmentally sensitive manner. Alliance members represent more than 100 teams and venues from 13 leagues.

For teams that want to go green but don't know where to start, NRDC created a Greening Advisor program, featuring sustainability tips and green inspiration. Teams from each of North America's major sports leagues can find treasure troves of information at the intersection of saving money and the planet.

NRDC calls the greening of pro sports "a cultural shift of historic proportions" and delights in the fact that "North America's professional leagues, teams and venues have collectively saved millions of dollars by shifting to more efficient, healthy and ecologically intelligent operations."

"At the same time, the sports greening movement has brought important environmental messages to millions of fans worldwide," says NRDC. "Sport is a great unifier, transcending political, cultural, religious and socioeconomic barriers. It also wields a uniquely powerful influence [and] in so doing, promotes a non-political public commitment to environmental protection."

Contacts: "Game Changer" Report, nrdc.org/greenbusiness/guides/sports/game-changer.asp; Green Sports Alliance, greensportsalliance.org; NRDC Greening Advisor, greensports.org.
EarthTalk is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E/The Environmental Magazine, emagazine.com. Send questions to earthtalk@emagazine.com.
















 



Local events heading








  Today is Sunday, April 20, the 110th day of 2014. There are 255 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The attention of contractors is called to proposals for building a magazine. The building is to be erected on the south side of the island, above the railroad, nearly opposite Sinnit's ice houses.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Ladies patent leather tip shoes were selling for $3 at the M & K store, and men's spring overcoats were advertised at $7.50.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Fred Feuchter, of Davenport, was elected president of the Tri-City Post Office Clerks club, and Joe Goldsmith, of Rock Island, was named secretary treasurer.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Mass vaccination of more than 1,600 employed of the Rock Island Arsenal has been ordered by Col. Norman Ramsey after a 13-year-old daughter of the Arsenal manager became ill with smallpox.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The 1964 Scout-O-Rama of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts closed a two-day session last evening at the Rock Island Armory with 5,000 paid attendance.
1989 -- 25 years ago: "From the horse and buggy days ... to this" said Mercer County Sheriff Marvin Thirtyacre, waving his hand to indicate the sheriff's department facilities at the new $1.5 million Mercer County Jail in Aledo.




(More History)