Get ready for the biggest sports weekend of the year! On Sunday, February 6, the Green Bay Packers will take on the Steelers for the NFL championship at Super Bowl XLV. The energy-intensive event will take place at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Yet, despite the fact that the event will require about the same amount of energy it would take to power 1,500 homes for a year, the 2011 Super Bowl is being billed as the greenest on record.
That’s something to cheer about – even if your hometown team isn’t in the game!
Through the use of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and the efforts of Just Energy, the National Football League (NFL) and the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee all carbon emissions from power usage at major Super Bowl XLV venues will be offset. This means that, for every megawatt of electricity used at Super Bowl XLV, one megawatt of renewable energy will be generated by the Sweetwater Wind Farm located about 228 miles west of Dallas.
Chris Brockbank, Chief Marketing Officer of Just Energy, commented:
“This year, the Super Bowl, and all human activities related to the Super Bowl, including hotel stays, public and private transit, broadcast transmissions, etc., are estimated to have a 15,000 megawatt carbon footprint. Under the greening program, Just Energy will purchase a 15M MW equivalent in renewable energy certificates to offset the carbon emissions produced by the Super Bowl XLV. So, in the end, the Super Bowl will have no environmental impact due to the carbon offset program.”
The carbon offset program for Super Bowl XLV is just the beginning! The NFL has also adopted the following programs to help minimize environmental impacts of the big game:
- Tree planting events, dubbed the “Super Grow XLV” at local schools, parks and playgrounds will rely on efforts coordinated by the Texas Trees Foundation and Texas Forest Service, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service
- Biofuels will power buses in the transportation fleet and generators on the field when possible
- Recycling will be encouraged at Cowboys Stadium, the stadium compound, media center and Super Bowl headquarters
- Prepared food that is not consumed at Super Bowl events will be donated to local food banks, shelters and community kitchens
- Leftover decorations, office supplies and equipment will be donated and, if possible, upcycled into new products with the help of the Salvation Army
Whether sports fans will take notice of the greening of Super Bowl XLV is an open question. However, the efforts undertaken by the NFL to minimize environmental and social impacts of the huge event are laudable. With the NFL “tackling” corporate social responsibility in such a big way, perhaps other organizations and companies may follow in its green (minimal carbon) footsteps.