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First US Ski Resort to Operate on 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Climate Action

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Image Source: Climate Action

The famous Lake Tahoe resorts in California will be the first ski facilities in the US to operate on 100 percent renewable energy, eliminating emissions which would be a threat to the industry’s future.

The owner company Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ has partnered with the electric service provider Liberty Utilities to identify and develop new renewable energy generation, storage and efficiency projects to benefit the two Lake Tahoe resorts as well as the entire Olympic Valley area.

Andy Wirth, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, said: “Solar power has come down in cost so much that it’s accessible now.  It’s a purely economic decision. And it’s also about how we operate sustainably long into the future”.

“We’re glad to finally advance on this key, strategic level changeover to 100 percent renewable-sourced energy”, he added.

After it meets 100 percent of its energy needs, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows expects to halve its carbon footprint. More specifically, its annual carbon emissions will reduce from 13,078 to approximately 6,682 metric tonnes- a decrease of 49 percent generating carbon savings equivalent to the electric use of 957 homes.

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The House of Green Goes Green

London Knights

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On Saturday, February 10th the Spectra Venue Management team at Budweiser Gardens will launch its first ‘Green’ event when the London Knights face off against the Sudbury Wolves.  “Over the last year, there has been a conscious effort by our team at Budweiser Gardens to evaluate our practices and procedures and look for ways that we can implement environmentally responsible practices.” Said Brian Ohl, General Manager of Budweiser Gardens. “This game will give us a great opportunity to share with the community some of the significant work that has been done and it is our hope that this will become an annual game while also adding additional Green events where possible.”

Spectra Venue Management has teamed up with the London Transit Commission to offer fans coming to the game the opportunity to ride on LTC busses for FREE beginning at 5pm and running through the end of service. Each fan will need to present a valid ticket for that night’s game to gain entry onto the bus. “We are grateful that the LTC has stepped up to work with us on this great initiative and provide the 9.000 plus fans coming for the game the opportunity to ride free of charge and reduce carbon emissions” said Ohl.

Each save that the Knight’s goaltender makes during the game will count beyond just the scoreboard as Spectra and ReForest London will launch the ‘Saves for Trees’ program at the game. For every save that a Knight’s goalie makes during the game a tree will be planted as part of the Million Tree Challenge, a community-wide project with the focus of planting one million more trees for environmental and human health in London, ON. Downtown London, the official game sponsor, has also agreed to match the total and will plant an equal number of trees. Fans at the game are also encouraged to join the Saves for Trees program by sponsoring a tree for $25.00.

The City of London will also be present at the game to promote several initiatives including London’s Clean & Green program which takes place on Earth Day, April 22nd. “The support that we have received from Jay Stanford and his team at the City of London has been tremendous and we look forward to continuing to work with them on many future projects,” said Ohl.

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Eagles & Pats: Head-to-Head for Eco-Cred

Environmental Leader
by Alyssa Danigelis

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Gillette Stadium (left) and Lincoln Financial Field (right). Credit: Gillette Stadium on Facebook and Lincoln Financial Field on Facebook

The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles face off Sunday at the LEED Gold-certified US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. But how do the teams’ home stadiums stack up environmentally? Let’s find out.

Gillette Stadium

Home of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium began welcoming fans in 2002, replacing the old Foxborough Stadium in Massachusetts. The Kraft Group privately financed construction for $325 million and ISO 14001-certified Skanska USA Building Inc. won the contract.

The stadium project had multi-stakeholder involvement in order to achieve a sustainable building, both in its construction and operation, according to a Skanska case study sustainability from May 2008.

Features:

  • Restoration of a diverted river to a free-flowing natural river bed seeded with flora to attract wildlife
  • During construction, over 130,000 cubic yards of blasted open rock was processed and reused on the site
  • A wastewater system with an onsite wastewater treatment facility that reuses graywater for thousands of toilets in the building, saving millions of gallons of water each year
  • Energy-efficient hand dryers replaced paper towels for the stadium’s bathrooms in 2009, saving nearly 6.3 million paper towels and more than $50,000 annually, according to Excel Dryer
  • Timing devices in the electrical distribution system that automatically shut down non-essential lighting after hours

The 1.3 million-square-foot area Patriot Place, which includes a hotel, restaurants, and shopping, opened adjacent to the stadium in the fall of 2008. A megawatt solar installation currently provides 60% of Patriot Place’s electricity with an annual output of 1.1 million kilowatt hours, according to the Kraft Group.

In the second quarter of 2017, Patriot Place conserved: 206,694 kWh of electricity, 571 mature trees, 332,920 gallons of water, 477 cubic yards of landfill airspace, and 232 metric tons of GHG emissions.

Lincoln Financial Field

Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, opened in Philadelphia in 2003, replacing Veterans Stadium. Construction cost $520 million at the time and environmental considerations were there from the start. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and his wife Christina Weiss Lurie established the Go Green sustainability program in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2003. What began as a push to increase desk-side recycling has evolved into an all-encompassing environmental strategy across the team’s operations.

Features:

  • 100% of the team’s operations are powered by renewables, including 11,108 solar panels and 14 wind turbines installed around the field that produce 4 MW annually
  • The team installed a biodigester to decompose pre-consumer food waste that can process 330 pounds daily
  • Every year the Eagles recycle more than 850 tons of material from the stadium
  • Converted to 100% post-consumer recycled paper, savings of 10 tons of paper annually
  • More than 99% of the waste generated at the stadium is diverted from landfills
  • Invested in Orbio technology to produce a nontoxic cleaning and de-greasing agent from salt, reclaimed water, and electricity rather than using chemicals
  • Installed aerators that cut urinal water use in half
  • All of the Eagles’ RFPs mandate that vendors propose green-certified materials as standards, NRDC noted

“The grass clippings from the field are composted. Old cooking oil and grease are converted into biodiesel, which is brought back to power the stadium’s lawn mowers. Leftovers from the kitchen are donated to local shelters, and food waste is composted,” the Los Angeles Times reported in 2011. “If the team replaces a carpet, the contractor must explain how the old carpet will be recycled and specify how much recycled material is in the new one.”

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