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Why Super Bowl XLVIII will be the greenest sporting event ever

While the Patriots may not have made it to the Super Bowl this year, take comfort in the fact that Boston is leaving its mark on the game in a big way.

MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, who will be hosting Super Bowl XLVIII, recently became the first stadium in the world to earn the title of Certified Green Restaurant from the Boston-based Green Restaurant Association.

Since 1990, the Green Restaurant Association has worked hard to help thousands of restaurants make their day-to-day operations more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and now it has succeeded in certifying MetLife Stadium, along with its food service partner, Delaware North Companies Sportservice.

This month, MetLife Stadium achieved two-star Certified Green Restaurant status, the first of three levels of Certified Green Restaurant, by “greening up” in seven categories:

  • Energy: The stadium received recognition for appliances with Energy Star ratings.
  • Food: MetLife and Delaware North Companies Sportservice have made sure to include vegan and vegetarian options, as well as sustainable seafood, alongside all those nachos.
  • Water: Energy Star dishwashers and touchless sensor faucets now ensure maximum efficiency in water use.
  • Waste: Composting of pre-consumer food waste and re-purposing of used cooking oil as biodiesel top the list of ways the stadium is dealing with the high amount of food waste common at sporting events.
  • Disposables: This year’s plates, cups, napkins, and cutlery are leaning heavily towards the recycled, unbleached, and bio-based, thereby reducing the amount of raw materials needed for their manufacture.
  • Chemicals & Pollution Reduction: Its close proximity to public transportation earned MetLife Stadium some easy points towards its certification. Additional strides were taken to reduce mercury in light bulbs, and harmful chemicals in cleaning products.
  • Building: The building itself was not exempt from scrutiny, earning points toward certification with recycled ceiling panels and Forest Stewardship Council certified wall coverings and panels.

Green Restaurant Association Founder and CEO Michael Oshman and his team in Downtown Boston are very proud to have been a part of what may well be the greenest Super Bowl ever. “This achievement sets the environmental bar for stadiums and sporting events the world over,” Oshman says.

That sounds like a challenge. What venue will take it up next?