Greening MLB: Teams Showcase Sustainable Baseball Stadiums
In 2005, Major League Baseball partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the first league wide greening program in professional sports. Since the launch of this partnership, nearly all MLB franchises have established numerous ballpark sustainability initiatives. To commemorate the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Wegowise wants to give a tip of the hat to MLB franchises that are taking serious steps to reduce their ecological footprint. Here’s a sampling of what a few of the most environmentally friendly baseball teams are doing to go green.
San Francisco Giants
AT&T Park, home of the Giants, was the first major league ballpark to receive LEED Silver certification for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance (EBO&M)) in 2010. It became the first MLB stadium to install solar panels in 2007. Since then, the ballpark has made many additional improvements to earn LEED credit, including new energy-efficient CFL lighting throughout the ballpark, an aggressive recycling and composting program that diverted 67 percent of the ballpark's waste from going to the landfill in 2010, water conserving toilets, urinals and fixtures, re-commissioning of the entire mechanical system in 2010 and a new HD scoreboard that is 78 percent more efficient than its predecessor. Read more about the Giants here.
Not long after the Giants installed theirs, Cleveland's Progressive Field installed an upper deck solar panel array, making the Indians the first American League team to install an alternative energy power source in 2007. Last year, the NRDC chose Cleveland and the Indians' home of Progressive Field as an America Recycles Day host location as part of a series of nationwide events. The team's selection was fitting, given its environmental track record. In 2011, the team reduced the volume of trash produced at Progressive Field by 47 percent and reduced waste pick-ups by 60 percent. Check out more of their green programs here.
Nationals Park—home of the Washington Nationals—was the first baseball stadium awarded LEED Silver certification for a new construction when it was completed in 2008. This park was built on a reclaimed brownfield site and was constructed using local building materials comprised of 95% recycled content. Nationals Park’s green features include a 6,300-square foot green roof, low-flow fixtures in restrooms that save a projected 3.6 million gallons of water per year, a recycling program that diverts about 80 percent of waste items including glass, metal, plastic, cardboard, and paper and close proximity to public transit metro stations. Read more about the Nationals initiatives here.
The baseball fans at Wegowise hope to see even more cutting edge green initiatives by teams in seasons to come. For more info, Major League Baseball’s NRDC Greening Advisor is a great resource great strategies and tips for greening America’s Pastime. For more snapshots of how other MLB teams are helping protect our planet, check out this great slideshow.