Smarter Business: Greening the Games

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

Major League Baseball

Baseball is a social institution with social responsibilities and caring for the environment is inextricably linked to all aspects of the game. Sound environmental practices make sense in every way and protect our natural resources for future generations of baseball fans.” – MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig

NRDC and MLB team up to encourage recycling, conserve energy, reduce costs, and protect America's wild places. See other green sports videos.


In 2005 Major League Baseball became the first professional sports league to partner with NRDC. MLB officials and NRDC experts met to discuss a league greening initiative, and later formed the “Commissioner’s Initiative on Sustainable Stadium Operations and Team Practices.”

To kick off this initiative, NRDC developed the NRDC Greening Advisor, an online environmental resource guide that has been customized and distributed to each team in the league. The NRDC Greening Advisor for MLB, which earned the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Merit Award in 2008, is designed to help each team and stadium operator identify and pursue environmentally superior operations and supply chain options both in their stadium and city. These include: office operations, stadium operations and maintenance, team and fan transportation, energy use, paper use, concession operations, events planning, recycling and waste management. 

green team

MLB Green Teams collect recyclables during the 2011 World Series games in Arlington, Texas. ©MLB Photos/Darrell Byers Read more about the 2011 MLB postseason environmental commitments.

mlb logo

"Baseball is in a unique position to exert positive influence in the area of environmental stewardship. Just as Baseball took a leading role in the development of relations between the races in the United States, with the appearance of Jackie Robinson for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, so must it turn its attention, efforts, and influence to other important social issues. One of those issues, which is inextricably linked to all aspects of our game, is care for the environment."

– Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig

Since the launch of this partnership, virtually every MLB team has established environmental initiatives at their stadiums and are now making an effort to track their successes.  MLB is the first professional sports league in the United States to design and implement an environmental data collection system, to collect and analyze stadium operations data, as well as encourage teams to share information about their environmental efforts and successes.  The MLB Green Track system—developed by NRDC, the Commissioner’s Office, and the MLB IT team—is already being used by most professional baseball teams to track energy use, water use, waste management and recycling, and paper purchasing.

NRDC Trustee Robert Redford describes MLB's mission to set an example for businesses and fans by improving stadium operations to benefit the environment for future generations. Find out how you can join MLB and make a difference with NRDC's Green Tips..

The MLB Commissioner’s Office also distributed a publication, produced by NRDC and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, entitled Solar Energy for Your Stadium or Arena: A Guide to Understanding Opportunities of On-Site Photovoltaic Solar Power Generation to all MLB teams. The publication encourages stadium and arena operators to install on-site solar technology at their facility and provides detailed information about the process.  To date, five MLB teams have installed solar systems at their stadiums: the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, the Colorado Rockies at Coors Fieldthe Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park,  and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.



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