Tags: corporate sustainability, leed, sustainability initiatives
Learn about initiatives being pursued by MLB, NBA and NHL teams, how they are achieving LEED certification, and the steps they're taking toward corporate responsibility.
Many professional sports teams and facilities have a large impact on the environment -- from team travel, to the electricity required for their facilities during competitive games, to all the waste from the food sold, their environmental impact seems to be adding up. Thankfully, people are starting to notice these problems and find ways to repair or prevent them. Just recently, the MLB
set up guidelines for its teams and facilities. The guidelines include conserving water, reducing energy, increasing public transit to games and educating fans on environmental practices. Already the Washington Nationals
are ready to step up to the challenge. HOK Sport and Devrouax + Purnell helped them achieve a silver LEED certified park. Through the implementation of high-efficiency field lighting, a waste water system, and mandatory recycling practices, they were able to achieve certification from the USGBC
The MLB is not the only sports league to work towards helping the environment and seeking LEED certification, however. In the NBA
, the AmericanAirlines Arena
of the Miami Heat, and the Phillips Arena
of the Atlanta Hawks and the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers achieved LEED certification for Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance
. The Phillips Arena was the first NBA or NHL facility (by three hours) to be LEED certified. "If every one of our 5.1 million existing commercial buildings in the U.S. followed the lead of Philips Arena and worked to become more energy efficient, we could save some $160 billion by 2030 and put a significant dent in our carbon emissions,” said USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chairman Rick Fedrizzi
. The AmericanAirlines Arena installed many green features to become LEED Certified—such as green roofing materials, water-efficient landscaping and underground parking. These facilities are working hard to show their corporate responsibility to the environment by achieving LEED certification.
Sports teams that are not yet LEED certified are nevertheless working in other ways to help the environment. The Pittsburg Pirates have recycled over 33,000 lbs of plastic and the Seattle Mariners compost all the organic waste produced by their facility. In addition, the MLB, NHL and NBA have all teamed up with the Natural Resource Defense Council
to work towards helping the environment.
The carbon footprint of the facilities used by professional sports teams is truly substantial, which makes it all the better to witness the effective initiatives they are pursuing – with LEED being the core of it all. In the future hopefully they will expand these efforts to addressing their travel to and from competing teams’ stadiums, which also has a huge impact on the environment – but these initial efforts are fantastic nonetheless.
Matt Kiszka, LEED AP, is the Green Building Project Manager for Renewable Choice.