Super Bowl competition and football in general has historically been a huge, power hogging waste generator. Super Bowl XLVII will feature green initiatives like never before. According to a Feb.1 National Geographic article, New Orleans has implemented major improvements. Both contenders, the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, plan to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for their facilities.
The National Football League (NFL) is also in the green business. According to the official NFL Green site,
“The Super Bowl environmental program has five main initiatives: solid waste management, material reuse, food recovery, sports equipment and book donations, and greenhouse gas reduction.”
The Mercedes Benz super dome in New Orleans is the crown jewel of six years of post Hurricane Katrina reconstruction. The new stadium is part of a much larger green movement for stadiums and facilities. The outer walls have a new double barrier system with better insulation and rainwater control. Only ten kilowatts of electricity are needed to power the 26,000 LED lights that cover two million square feet of space. New Orleans will handle unused food items more efficiently. The New Orleans' Second Harvest Food Bank will recover unused food from all Super Bowl events.
New Orleans has the "Geaux Green" carbon offset program to entice the Super Bowl crowd to learn about carbon offsets by actually earning them. One fan won the Geaux Green contest by using energy saving devices on his Christmas decorations. Others were able to calculate the carbon emissions associated with their Super Bowl trip and to decide how much they needed in carbon offsets. Prices started at $5. The fans could then choose a carbon-reducing project to receive offset dollars.
Even banners, displays and other items will be recycled. The Green Project and a local recycling organization will turn banners, displays, and other promotional items into souvenir tote bags, wallets, and shower curtains.
A Feb.1 article in Greentech Media reports that the San Francisco 49ers will build an energy efficient new stadium with LEED certification at the team’s new venue in Santa Clara County.
Three solar installations will have a peak energy capacity of 400 kilowatts. The solar arrays will cover bridge, a canopy over the existing training center and a canopy over the stadium’s green roof.
The Baltimore Ravens are also seeking LEED certification for solar installations at the existing M&T Bank Stadium.
It is clear that the NFL, the teams and the cities that host the teams are very serious about going green with projects that range from being energy efficient to recycling unused food. As an added boost, some teams are leaving lasting legacies like Philadelphia Eagles Forest, a 6.5 acre area in Neshaminy State Park, PA with 4,000 trees and shrubs.