BOSTON (September 20, 2007) – The Boston Red Sox today announced that the club will begin a partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nationally renowned environmental organization, to make Fenway Park even more “green” through a series of initiatives to improve the environment.
Giving a second meaning to the color of its interior and well-known left field wall (the “Green Monster”), efforts to make Fenway more green will include a recycling program, improved removal of refuse, and the consideration of solar panels to reduce energy consumption.
These initiatives, and others, will take place over the next five years, culminating in 2012, when baseball celebrates the 100th anniversary of “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”
“We are not only committed to preserving the history, beauty, and integrity of Fenway Park, but we are also determined to enhance the park’s environmental attributes so it can serve our team, our fans, and our community in the 21st century as well as it did in the 20th century,” said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO of the Red Sox. “We look forward to beginning this process with the help of some key partners.”
With guidance from the NRDC, the Red Sox are partnering with KeySpan, now a part of National Grid; Waste Management; and ARAMARK to create these initiatives.
With the assistance of KeySpan, a solar panel installation project is being considered to conserve energy. Solar panels on the roof of Fenway Park’s fifth level could provide a pollution-free source of energy designed to heat various areas of the ballpark.
"KeySpan goes beyond just offering a clean product, like natural gas," said Nick Stavropoulos, Executive Vice President for US gas distribution. "We try to ensure that it's utilized wisely. Efficiency is more than a just a “buzzword” to us, it is a critical component of what we do-- investing some millions of dollars in programs and services that help our customers--large and small-- use less energy and protect the environment.”
With the help of Waste Management, the Red Sox will also create a more robust recycling program. Staff will collect recyclable items from fans during the game, and Waste Management will install new receptacles for recyclable items.
The club’s current recycling program has resulted in the gathering of ten tons of cardboard in 2007 to save 170 mature trees, 4,600 gallons of oil, 70,000 gallons of water, and 41,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Staff members have led a recycling effort of papers and bottles in the offices as well.
Starting with the Red Sox’ next homestand, Tuesday, September 25, the club will use new Waste Management recycling bins throughout the park to help all fans participate. By next year, a more comprehensive plan could recycle soda and water bottles and plastic cups.
“As America's largest recycler, Waste Management is proud to join the Boston Red Sox in launching this “Going Green” recycling program,” said Lee Solheid, Waste Management’s Area Vice President for New England. “This eco-partnership with the Red Sox reflects the commitment of both of our organizations to environmental stewardship and a greener future for our children, families, and fans.”
ARAMARK, the concessionaire at Fenway Park, will be doing its part by making available more environmentally-friendly food products, including locally-grown organic produce, throughout the ballpark’s concession services.
ARAMARK is already weaving environmental stewardship programs and policies throughout its business operations. These include sustainable food and agriculture, earth-friendly procurement and energy conservation and waste management.
"ARAMARK is committed to preserving and protecting our nation's precious natural, cultural and historic resources for this and future generations through all of our business operations," said Kevin Haggerty, ARAMARK General Manager at Fenway Park. "As a longtime partner of the Red Sox, we are proud to support their 'green' initiative and will continue to work with them to integrate 'green' practices into our food and beverage offerings and facility services at Fenway Park, while creating an outstanding and environmentally-friendly game day experience."
The Red Sox will also be installing more energy efficient equipment and lighting and will continue to use safe chemicals for field and park maintenance.
"Fenway Park is one of America's most beloved buildings," said Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist at the NRDC and coordinator of the organization's greening initiatives. "The tangible and important ecological steps that the Red Sox and their team sponsors are advancing will have a lasting impact. By committing to the greening of this historic building, the Red Sox organization is showing leadership that reaches far beyond the game of baseball. The Red Sox are demonstrating that every organization can make a difference by joining in our collective efforts to combat global warming, bio-diversity loss, and other ecological ills. "
“As a professional sports franchise, we have the opportunity to reach millions,” said Lucchino. “As so many are doing in Red Sox Nation and around the world, we will continue to increase our efforts to protect the environment in a cost-competitive way. We are delighted to work with the NRDC to work towards a “green” Fenway Park and to continue to offer a ballpark experience like no other.”