Pocono Raceway Green Successes and Future Outlook

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As Earth Day approaches, Pocono Raceway is proud to share their green initiative successes and share their future outlook. ‘The Tricky Triangle’s’ green initiatives began in 2010 with the creation of their three-megawatt solar farm and sustainability continues to be one of the core values which drives the Raceway and their staff.

The Raceway’s 25-acre, three megawatt solar farm officially went online in May 2010. The 39,960 American-made solar panels have since generated over 28 Million Kilowatt hours of electricity. The energy by the solar farm has offset the use of over 771,000 gallons of gasoline and offset 28,838 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from approximately 4,462 passenger vehicles. The solar farm provides the energy needs of the track and any unused electricity is placed directly back on the grid to power homes and businesses located near the Raceway.

“Going green is, and will continue to be, a staple for us,” said Nick Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway CEO. “We intend to lead the industry into the next decade as true trailblazers. We promise to increase the number of recycling and compost receptacles around ‘The Tricky Triangle,’ all while reducing the number of trash bins. Camping guests, who stay with us during our race weekend, will continue to receive recycling bags upon their arrival. All of our recycling efforts are based on our diversion percentage goal of 75% by 2019.”

Pocono Raceway’s 2019 diversion goal has been set to ensure three quarters of the waste from the track is recycled and does not end up in a landfill. This initiative, in partnership with Pennsylvania State University, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Monster Energy and NASCAR Green, has resulted in a diversion percentage of 55% last summer, up from 40% the previous year, with 17.5 tons of recovered materials being recycled. Additionally, 2,200 pounds of unused food from the 2017 race weekends were donated to Stroudsburg (Pa.) area groups who feed the hungry through the Raceway’s partnership with Rock & Wrap It Up! This June, with assistance from Essity, the track will place compostable paper products in all their Grandstand restrooms.

The 2018 sustainability efforts of the track will continue to support NASCAR Green’s initiatives during the Pocono 400 and Gander Outdoors 400 race weekends with the use of Sunoco Green E15, the recycling of all Goodyear tires used during competition and the recycling of over 1,000 gallons of waste oil. The Raceway is also in the process of retro-fitting and replacing current lightbulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs. Fans will see an increase in the amount of recycling receptacles around the facility, especially during their second annual Monster Energy NASCAR Free Friday. Fans who bring an empty can of Monster Energy to be recycled at the track will receive free admission on Friday, June 1, 2018. Over 4,000 Monster Energy cans were recycled during this green and fan-engagement initiative last year.

“We are making a sustained effort to upgrade the facility with energy and water saving components,” said Igdalsky. “Every new building, old building upgraded and overall facility changes will be done with sustainable practices driving the plan. The Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania is a wonderful area to live. Recycling is key to ensuring its beauty is preserved. If it can be done, it will be done. Not simply for our generation, but for our kids, our grandchildren and the Earth.”

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NFL and Verizon to Leave “Green” Legacy at 2018 Draft

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Continuing a tradition of leaving a positive green legacy in host communities, the NFL is incorporating sustainability elements and activities at the 2018 NFL Draft. Recycling, food recovery and material reuse will lighten the environmental impact of Draft activities and urban and community forestry projects will leave a permanent “green” legacy in North Texas.

At the NFL Draft Experience, located at AT&T Stadium, waste will be diverted through recycling and composting. Volunteers from nearby University of Texas at Arlington will help fans put food waste, cans and bottles in the correct containers to keep items out of local landfills. Extra prepared food from NFL events will be collected in partnership with the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the Salvation Army. This food will then be distributed to local residents in need.

Event materials including fabric, vinyl, mesh, building materials, supplies and carpeting will be collected and distributed for reuse in partnership with a local network of municipal and nonprofit agencies. Some items will be reused as is while other material will be either auctioned to raise funds or repurposed into items for sale or donation.

Three tree planting projects are being funded through grants from the NFL and NFL sponsor Verizon to leave a permanent green footprint in North Texas.

On Monday, April 23, several dozen trees will be planted at Brantley Hinshaw Park in Arlington, as part of a project coordinated with the Texas Trees Foundation. Volunteers from Verizon, local school children and Arlington Parks and Recreation employees will come together for the event. Trees will be planted along the park’s walking path to provide much-needed shade for the park’s many patrons.

On Tuesday, April 24, trees will be planted on the campus of Paul Quinn College as part of the college’s urban farm. More than three dozen fruit trees will be planted, creating a new fruit orchard on campus. As part of a project with the Texas Trees Foundation, this urban farm provides fresh produce for the entire neighborhood through weekly farmers’ markets held near the college campus. The college also has contracts with several local restaurants that participate in “farm to table” culinary activities. The farm provides training and employment opportunities for students at the college.

A final forestry project will take place in and around Bastrop State Forest – the site of one of Texas’ most destructive wildfires. A designated National Historic Landmark, nearly the entire park (96%) was destroyed in a 2011 wildfire. The NFL, Verizon and the Arbor Day Foundation will plant 1,536 trees during Draft week. The restoration project will result in six new trees for each of the 256 players who will be welcomed into the NFL during the 2018 NFL Draft.

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) will be used to “green” the electricity used to power NFL Draft activities. These RECs will be sourced from regional Texas wind farms, one of the major sources of renewable energy in the country.

The National Football League has incorporated sustainability practices and projects into the management of its events since 1993 – the first professional sports league to make environmental impact a key part of its event planning process. Verizon became the first NFL sponsor to engage in support of these projects five years ago. Through this important partnership, thousands of new trees have been planted in event host communities, and various community gardens and pollinator habitats have been created. Verizon has also joined with the NFL to collect thousands of pounds of electronic waste (e-waste) from Super Bowl host communities to help people dispose of these items responsibly.

Media Contacts:

Jack Groh, NFL Environmental, jack.groh@nflenvironment.com (401) 952-0886

Wendy Pappas, City of Arlington, Wendy.Pappas@arlingtontx.gov (817) 575-8311

Jeannine Brew, Verizon, Jeannine.Brew@VerizonWireless.com (214) 662-4430

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RBC Heritage Earns Top Sustainability Distinction

GEO Foundation

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Image Source: GEO Foundation

The 49th annual tournament in 2017 collected a new accolade, becoming one of only a few front-running events to achieve golf’s new mark of sustainability, GEO Certified® Tournament.

Over the last few years, the event team has worked hard to follow-through on a commitment to lighten the overall environmental footprint of the tournament, while taking steps to protect and foster nature, conserve resources and engage and support the local community.

The certification body and independent verifiers recognized the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing for: waste management and diversion from landfill; staff and spectator education and engagement; carbon reduction through renewable energy and quality of carbon offsets; water conservation; and charitable and community outreach activities.

Other notable highlights include:

  • Extensive carbon tracking and offset, covering tournament operations, player and spectators – which resulted in 100% of the operational footprint offset.
  • Renewably generated electricity powered 100% of the tournament – saving enough fossil fuels to power thirteen South Carolina homes for an entire year.
  • Extensive waste-management communications with 100 signed bins plus Zero Waste stations staffed to raise spectator awareness and action.
  • Donation of unused food went to support local causes.
  • More than $38 million donated to local charities over 30 years.
  • Year-round sustainability, including use of recycled and treated effluent water for all irrigation.

The achievements of the tournament compliment other sustainable golf initiatives across the Hilton Head Island Destination, including:   the ‘Experience Green’ through leadership seminar series, also supported by RBC; the GEO Certification of the Sea Pines Resort, with all other golf facilities in the area either fully certified or OnCourse® and working toward for certification; Harbour Town Golf Links designation as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary; and receipt of the IAGTO Sustainable Golf Destinations award for international sustainability leadership in golf tourism.

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