Phillies and MLB Teams Go Green

Posted on Thursday 25th September 2008
As the National League East Division Champs, the Phillies believe that they have the right mix of players to advance far into the postseason this year. On the eco-front, they have already won this whole season!

Three Cities, Three Teams, Millions of Fans, and a great Goal – Helping the Environment

As you are rooting for the Phillies you may feel as you live or die with the team, but you may be unaware of the additional impact they are having on your lives. The Philadelphia Phillies have stepped up to the plate and taken several steps to help make a cleaner environment. The Phillies were the very first in Major League Baseball to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. This voluntary program encourages organization to buy “green” power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use.

In an effort to offset the carbon footprint created by the utility power usage at Citizens Bank Park, the team has purchased 20 million kilowatt-hours of Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates. This is the largest single purchase of 100% renewable energy in all of professional sports and is equivalent to the planting 100,000 trees. In addition, the Phillies have worked with Global Spectrum and ARAMARK on several other initiatives throughout the park. Some of the highlights include:

  • Recycling frying oil to be used as a bio-diesel fuel.
  • The use of 35 oversized 80 gallon recyclable containers to make it easier for fans to do their part.
  • Using eco-friendly cleaning products and recycling glass, plastic and cardboard generated from game day preparation and concession sales.

Now that the Phillies have proven that the Phanatic isn’t the only one that is GREEN, they will have to continue to be innovative as rivals such as the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals have also done their part to help the environment.

The Washington Nationals are proud to boast that they became the first sports venue to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. Nationals Park, located near the Anacostia River, was categorized as a brownfield redevelopment and serves as an anchor for urban revitalization in the area. Some of the highlights for their LEED Certification include:

  • The ballpark site is a part of the Voluntary Clean Up Program which provides an opportunity to leave the 25-acre site a much better environment than when it was received.
  • The ballpark is easily accessible to public transportation including access to metro stations and local bus routes. Parking for fuel efficient vehicles and car pools is provided in the on-site garages.
  • Water conserving plumbing fixtures are used throughout and energy conserving light fixtures are installed including high efficiency field lighting.
  • Building materials used on the project contain a minimum of 10% recycled content and other interior materials including adhesives, carpet glues and paints have low VOC contents.
  • A 6,300 square foot green roof is located above a concession area beyond left field.

Similarly, large steps have been taken at the Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds. In partnership with Duke Energy, they purchased carbon credits to off-set their carbon footprint on Opening Day. Carbon credits are used to fund non-fossil fuels energy sources such as wind and solar power. In addition there are several other highlights to their 2008 “green” initiatives:

  • They use a computer based lighting management system called MICRO-LITE that has pre-programmed lighting scenes and load timers to efficiently monitor current energized lighting systems and to automatically turn on and off various lighting systems.
  • Waste grass clippings from field are transferred to external green space areas to act as a natural fertilizer for these green spaces.
  • All old or outdated uniform items were delivered to the non-profit charity, Mathew 25 Ministries for distribution in third world countries.

The Reds don’t seem to be stopping there and are looking forward to taking additional strides next year to further the “green” initiatives. "We were pleased with the green initiatives we implemented in 2008," said Michael Anderson, Reds public relations manager. "We received great feedback from our fans and corporate partners, especially for the carbon credits we purchased to offset the footprint for two games. Looking forward to 2009, we think there are additional opportunities to increase our recycling efforts and reduce our energy consumption," added Anderson. "We're currently exploring the possibility of powering a new scoreboard with solar panels."

Next Steps to a Greener Tomorrow…

While some of the “green” programs may go unnoticed during the excitement of the game it is refreshing to see Major League teams such as the Phillies, Reds, and Nationals striving for a better tomorrow. The next time you are at a game enjoying the fresh air, the smell of hotdogs and popcorn in the air and the entertainment on the field, remember to do your part: turn off the water faucets, recycle, and if possible use public transportation.

When it comes to your own dugout:

Philadelphia is the home of the Phillies and American Independence. So, we can make Greater Philadelphia the home of American Energy Independence by each taking a few small steps to make our own homes more energy efficient. Homes and buildings account for over 40% of our national energy consumption and green house gases according to the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, so every house counts! For great GREENandSAVE ways to Save Money and the Environment, you can now see the SCORE on the actual Stats for payback times, initial costs and savings: Click Here: Stats on Home Energy Savings

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