Smarter Business: Greening the Games

Professional sports team up with NRDC to reduce their environmental impact.

National Football League

NRDC is one of the environmental advisors to the NFL’s Green Team Committee. Formed in May 2008, the NFL Green Team works to share information about better practices at NFL facilities and help reduce environmental impacts at NFL facilities and events. The NFL is working with NRDC to review the value of league-wide environmental data collection systems that would help teams help teams track their environmental impacts by collecting baseline information about energy use, waste generation and recycling, water use and paper use.

To help ensure that the NFL acts as a responsible steward of the environment by using resources efficiently and minimizing waste. The Green Team’s goal is to help improve the NFL’s use and management of energy, waste, and water at NFL facilities and events, and by providing a set of best practices to NFL clubs.” - NFL Green Team Mission Statement


Here is a sampling of the efforts being taken by teams:

The Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field

With the assistance of NRDC, the Philadelphia Eagles launched their "Go Green" program in 2003, making the team one of the first in professional sports to initiative a comprehensive program focused on reducing its environmental impact.  In 2010, they made an unprecedented announcement that Lincoln Financial Field will be the first professional stadium in the U.S. capable of generating 100 percent of its own electricity onsite with the installation of about 2,500 solar panels, 80 20-foot-high wind turbines, and a generator that runs on natural gas and biodiesel. 

Here are just some of the other accomplishments made since this program began:

  • The Eagles already obtain 100 percent of their energy needs from renewable energy sources through the purchase of 14 million kwh in wind energy credits from NativeEnergy to offset energy use at the stadium annually, and through an on-site solar energy system at their NovaCare Complex training facility that generates 16,000 kWh per year.
  • Energy conservation programs have cut electricity consumption at Lincoln Financial Field in half since 2004.
  • Low-flow bathroom fixtures have cut water use in half.
  • Lincoln Financial Field diverts nearly 32 percent of game day waste from landfills for recycling, composting, and food donation. The stadium has composted more than 25 tons of organic waste annually since launching a composting program in 2009, and recycled over 10,000 gallons of grease and used kitchen oil for conversion into biodiesel in 2010.
  • Through energy, water, and waste reduction efforts, the Eagles have saved over $3 million since 2005.
  • Eagles employees receive incentives to switch from conventional power to wind energy at home, eliminating 283 tons of greenhouse gas pollution each year.

Video: The NFL Goes Green

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