Ranking U.S. stadiums according to “the depth and breadth” of their green initiatives, national home solar company SunRun recently came up with a top 10 list of the greenest stadiums. Cowboys Stadium, where the Super Bowl is about to be played, came in at number 5. From the planning stages, when the Dallas Cowboys intended to have the first stadium “to gain recognition in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Environmental Performance Track Program,” the team has been committed to making Cowboys Stadium a green leader.
Cowboys Stadium includes a state-of-the-art bio-composting reactor from Totally Green, a retractable roof that allows a lot of events to be held in natural lighting, retractable end zone doors that allow for natural ventilation, permeable pavement that helps with water drainage and pollution, a comprehensive recycling program, and more. Overall, it has reduced solid waste, energy use, and water consumption considerably due to its green initiatives.
Here’s the full list of the 10 greenest stadiums in the U.S., courtesy SunRun, with the soccer teams(!) and photos added:
1. Qwest Field, Home of the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders, and Seattle Mariners – The stadium has installed solar panels to help the building offset double-digit percentage increases in electric rates.
2. Lincoln Financial Field, Home of The Philadelphia Eagles
and the Philadelphia Union – In 2008, the Eagles produced 97 percent of their energy through renewable sources. The team also calculates their travel emissions and plants trees to offset their carbon footprint.
3. STAPLES Center, Home of the LA Lakers – Was awarded ISO 14001 Certification in 2010 for the third-party review of its Environmental Management System (EMS), making it the first U.S. arena to receive the respected accreditation.
4. Nationals Stadium, home of The Washington Nationals –The stadium is building LEED certification and has an in-house recycling center.
5. Cowboys Stadium, Home of the Dallas Cowboys - The $650 million stadium is aiming to reduce solid waste by 25%, energy use by 20% and water consumption by 1 million gallons annually.
6. Qualcomm Stadium, Home of the San Diego Chargers – The stadium boasts 350 ninety-four gallon recycling bins in the tailgating area.
7. Gillette Stadium, Home of the New England Patriots and New England Revolution – Recycling bags are handed out at the parking lot and solar-powered compactors collect plastic bottles and cans around the stadium.
8. Meadowlands Stadium, Shared by the New York Giants and Jets – The seats are made from recycled plastic and the Environmental Protection Agency consulted on the construction of the stadium.
9. Progressive Field, Home of The Cleveland Indians – The stadium uses recycled paper and cornstarch cups in their concession stands.
10. The Future Home of the San Francisco 49ers – Still in its planning stages, the new stadium is slated to open in 2014 and will have solar panels and a green roof, recycled water, and a plan that would have almost a fourth of all fans arriving via public transport.
Also, in case you didn’t know, it’s good to know that there is actually a Super Bowl XVL Environmental Program to try to make this huge national sports event as green as possible. It includes a Climate Change Initiative, powering the host stadium with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), a comprehensive recycling and reuse program, biodiesel buses, a Touchdown For Trees program to promote urban forestry and plant a ton of trees, and more.
Of course, major sporting events are energy-intensive and can generate a lot of waste, but good to see a lot of the leaders in this ‘arena’ taking the environmental crisis we’re facing seriously and going green (or starting to).
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on your favorite social network, go to: zacharyshahan.com