Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flashback: Super Bowl 2012

Since July, the Super Bowl XLVII host committee has been working on major plans to make this year’s NFL Championship event the greenest ever.  In an effort to green a game that will no doubt draw a crowd upwards of 70,000 fans, the environmental committee will employ carbon offset programs, repurposing programs, and a tree/wetlands restoration program. 

In order to earn the “greenest games” title, the Superdome will have to exceed what was done last year at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.  In 2012, the National Football League (NFL) and the Indianapolis Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee took great strides in environmental consideration.  The full sustainability report can be seen here.   

Measures/activities include, but are certainly not limited to:

·    Holding the first 1st & Green Environmental Challenge.  This challenged the public to take part in energy and water saving measures and track their progress on a community web page.  Tallies were kept from August 20, 2011 to January 13, 2012 and the person or group in each of five categories that reduced their carbon and water usage by the highest amount was recognized on stage in the Super Bowl Village.    The categories included in the competition were business, government, non-profit, K-12 Schools, “Other” groups, and individual/household.

This is a great way to get fans involved in greening efforts and helps to foster the important cultural shift towards sustainable living.  According to 1st & Green, the total amount of carbon emissions reduced through the 1st & Green program was 1,402,681 pounds of carbon. The total amount of water saved by 1st & Green program participants was 2,555,754 gallons of water.

·    Partnering with Green Mountain Energy, a carbon and electric offsets provider, to purchase 15,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy credits (RECs) of wind energy to offset the energy needs of the event.  This was enough megawatt hours to cover the usage of all activities that took place in association with the Super Bowl and not just the game itself.  According to Green Mountain, this purchase kept 14,000 tons of greenhouse gases from later being released into the atmosphere.

·    Partnering with Second Helpings, an Indianapolis-based non-profit organization that works to recover and redistribute food that would otherwise most likely end up as waste.  Food donations from the stadium and outside venues holding Super Bowl events provided approximately 23,000 meals to over 60 social services organizations

Indianapolis and Super Bowl XLVI made and were successful in well rounded efforts to be good environmental stewards and I hope that New Orleans shares in that success this year!  More inclusive report on what is planned will come soon.