Sports Teams Go to Bat for the Environment

The Buckeyes successfully diverted 98.2 percent of the waste generated as a result of a single game in 2012. Photo: Ohio State University

The Buckeyes successfully diverted 98.2 percent of the waste generated as a result of a single game in 2012. Photo: Ohio State University

Changing the Game

The growth of the green sports movement is proof that the industry has changed and isn’t going back; even NASCAR — not a sport one would immediately associate with green initiatives — has focused its efforts on recycling and conserving energy. Its recent NASCAR Green Summit in Chicago not only included representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, but also a keynote speech from climate change activist and former Vice President Al Gore.

NASCAR’s 5-year-old NASCAR Green program has gone beyond simply being an environmental awareness platform; it also now boasts the largest recycling, tree planting and renewable energy programs in the sports industry today. And, perhaps surprisingly, the sports facility boasting the largest array of solar panels today is Pocono Raceway, whose solar panels cover more than 25 acres and will produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours or energy over the next 20 years.

In addition to the solar panels, Pocono Raceway participates in the PepsiCo Dream Machine recycling program, which rewards fans for recycling cans and bottles, and participates in NASCAR’s Clean Air Tree Planting Program.

Next page: Major League Support

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