The San Francisco 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium is poised to achieve some significant firsts in the green sports movement. With a highly innovative design and essential partnerships with local organizations, Levi’s Stadium is now the first NFL stadium to open with a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and the first stadium in California to utilize a recycled water system.
About 85 percent of the water used at Levi’s Stadium will be supplied by the city of Santa Clara’s recycled water system. The scope and variety of applications for recycled water at the 49ers’ new facility will be the most extensive use of recycled water of any stadium in the nation. Uses for the recycled water include:
- playing field irrigation
- a 27,000 square foot green roof
- cooling tower make-up water
- toilet flushing
Although the new stadium addresses sustainability as a whole, the attention to water use is particularly important. “With California experiencing historic drought conditions, the timing couldn’t be better to showcase the benefits of using recycled water whenever and wherever possible,” said 49ers’ Vice President of Stadium Operations Jim Mercurio.
The cooperation between the 49ers and local government and other organizations shows that strong partnerships can help to conserve natural resources and set new environmental standards for sports venues.
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Learn more about sustainability at Levi’s Stadium.
The Detroit Lions opened training camp practices on August 6 wearing green jerseys instead of the familiar red practice jerseys. The jerseys, each of which was composed from REPREVE fibers created from 21 recycled plastic bottles, kicked off the #TurnItGreen sustainability campaign in partnership with REPREVE manufacturers Unifi, Inc. As part of the initiative, Detroit is targeting a 100 percent recycling rate at Ford Field this season. To help achieve this goal, Unifi and the Lions have installed 500 recycling bins throughout the stadium.
Along with the team’s commitment to improving waste diversion at Ford Field, the campaign also includes a call to fans to increase recycling efforts outside of the stadium. The “Make the Smart Throw” campaign will educate fans about the importance of reducing landfill waste and the ways in which these products can be recycled to create new products.
“Recycling is critical, yet surprisingly only 30 percent of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S., significantly less than other countries,” explained Unifi president and CEO Roger Berrier. “Together with the Detroit Lions, we are working to highlight the ease of in-stadium recycling and showcase the benefits of recycling.”
Read more about Detroit’s partnership with REPREVE here.
Read more about the #TurnItGreen campaign here.