Believe it or not, sports stadiums are becoming corporate leaders in the green business movement. According to many general managers in the stadium management space, sustainable stadium practices help to significantly reduce energy and waste management costs for these mammoth structures. On top of this, these green practices positively add to the patron experience for a younger generation of fans that are increasingly conscious of corporate sustainability.
With the announcement of Amazon’s new Climate Pledge Arena – touted as one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world– we thought we’d share a list ranking the green-est arenas in the U.S., as well as note some tips for improvement. Check it out below!
CLIMATE PLEDGE ARENA (AMAZON)
Amazon’s soon-to-be Climate Pledge Arena is making huge strides in the green stadium movement. This would be the first stadium in the world to run as a net-zero carbon arena. On top of that, they plan to be powered solely by renewable energy and have pledged to produce zero waste. Our favorite part? Their ban on single-use plastic, allowing disposal only in recycling and compost bins. Great stuff! What’s one way the Climate Pledge Arena could solidify their spot on the top of this list? Reusable cups. One way that any stadium can further cut back on waste management and recycling costs is to switch to a reusable cup system for all fans. Not to mention the significant benefits this option has for the environment.
Home to the Atlanta Falcons, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was the first sports venue to earn the LEED platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council – this is the highest accolade accredited to sustainable buildings. Features of the building include efficient LED lighting, air conditioning and water systems (using a rainwater storage system), and recycled materials. What earned their place as a staple sustainable stadium? Sustainability was consciously ingrained into every step of the design process of the venue, according to Scott Jenkins, General Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The new home of the San Francisco 49ers, ironically located in Santa Clara, CA, the Levi’s Stadium is one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the country right now – no surprise since its location isn’t far from the tech capital of the world. The stadium turns black water into grey water so it can be reused for things like toilet water, and atop the venue is a green roof where vegetables and other plants are cultivated. Also covering the rooftop are solar panels that power a significant portion of the stadium’s energy needs.
LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD
The Philadelphia Eagles home stadium has long been praised for its sustainable practices, notably running their Go Green Initiative since 2003. The stadium runs 40% of its energy use from solar energy and 11,000 solar panels on the building. When they noticed how much plastic waste was being produced at each event, they switched to aluminum cup options and now process the recovered aluminum on-site. Great stuff!