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If the Most Important Green Aspects of Super Bowl LII are Two Beer TV Ads, Is That a Good Thing?

GreenSportsBlog
Lew Blaustein

Super Bowl LII will be played in Minnesota, one of the most environmentally-conscious states in the country. Host city Minneapolis is mass-transit friendly and filled with LEED certified stadia and arenas. The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will do battle in LEED Gold US Bank Stadium. The game will be zero-waste and 100 percent of the energy used to power the contest will be offset. Yet, it says here that the most important green aspect of the 2018 Super Bowl may well be two beer ads — unless the NFL steps up to tell the Big Game’s green story to the audience 100+ million people.

Question: What does this triumvirate — Clydesdale horses, the Bud Bowl, and recent catastrophic extreme weather events — have in common?

Answer: They are each themes of Budweiser Super Bowl ads, past and immediate future. If there was a Super Bowl Advertising Hall of Fame, the brand’s ads featuring the iconic, white maned horses and the fun, computer-generated football games played by teams of beer bottles (Bud vs. Bud Light!) would both certainly be first ballot inductees.

But corporate parent AB InBev’s stablemates Budweiser and Stella Artois are going in a different direction for Sunday’s broadcast on NBC.

In “Budweiser’s Super Bowl Beer Ad Isn’t about Beer,” which ran in the January 26 issue of Environmental LeaderJennifer Hermes reported that the brand’s 60 second Super Bowl spot is actually about…water: “[US corporate parent] Anheuser-Busch currently produces canned drinking water at its Cartersville, GA, brewery, and ships them to communities in need. This year, the company shipped nearly three million cans of emergency drinking water to areas hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and by the California wildfires. In total, the company says it has provided over 79 million cans of drinking water to communities in need. The Super Bowl ad tells the story of its employees in the Cartersville plant who produce the emergency drinking water. [It] features the general manager of the brewery, along with more than 20 of his local colleagues.”

Budweiser’s “Stand By You” water-themed Super Bowl ad (60 seconds)

Stella Artois’ 30 second ad, produced in partnership with water.org, features actor Patriots fan Matt Damon, who calls on beer lovers to step up to help solve the water crisis by buying a Stella beer chalice. Damon asserts that if just one percent of Super Bowl viewers purchase the glass, Stella will provide “clean water to one million people. For five years.”

Matt Damon stars in Stella Artois’ 30 second, water conservation-themed, Super Bowl ad

 

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Guest Blog | HOK’s Chris DeVolder on the Intersection of Sustainable Design, Resilience and Sports

Guest Interview with Chris DeVolder
HOK

Photo Credit: HOK

Mercedes-Benz Stadium / Photo Credit: HOK

Chris DeVolder, AIA, LEED AP, WELL AP, is the managing principal of HOK’s Kansas City office. As the sustainable design leader for the Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice and co-chair of both the Green Sports Alliance Corporate Membership Network Steering Committee and the USGBC’s LEED User Group for sports venues, he has helped reinvent the industry’s approach to the planning, design, construction and operations of sports venues. Here Chris shares his ideas about designing these community pillars for sustainability and resilience.

How did you get interested in sustainable design?

Chris DeVolder (CD): Twenty years ago I was playing drums in a band made up of Kansas City architects. The lead singer was passionate about sustainability and was working on a sustainably designed residence for a client in his free time. He asked if I’d be interested in helping with his project. That moment changed my career. He gave me a copy of “The Sacred Balance” by David Suzuki that, coupled with his mentorship, fueled my passion for sustainable design.

You have dedicated your career to designing sustainable college and professional sports facilities. How has sustainable design in sports evolved?

CD: Three things were happening when sustainability made a splash on the sports scene. First, jurisdictions and campuses had begun to require LEED certification for new buildings. Second, there was an influx of organic, student-driven movements around campus recycling that athletic departments supported. Third, operators of these massive sports facilities began to look at their rising water and energy consumption and felt motivated to change.

About this time the Green Sports Alliance was founded. At the organization’s first conference in 2010, most presentations were case studies of buildings that had upgraded their water and energy efficiency. We’ve come a long way.

Today’s proactive owners and operators are seeking innovative strategies around community, food and renewable energy. Sustainability was once a completely cost-driven decision for owners and operators. Now there’s also a moral component. Our clients have a better understanding of opportunities to use these facilities to support campuses, neighborhoods and cities.

Why is sustainability in sports so important?

CD: Our stadiums, ballparks and arenas are highly visible buildings that are accessible to the entire community. They provide an incredible opportunity to teach people about sustainable design. The first thing many of us do every morning is check sports headlines and scores. With our unwavering loyalty to teams and universities, sports has a unique platform to communicate sustainability and change behavior.

How does this visibility affect your approach to design?

CD: We encourage clients to think about sustainability as it relates to design, operations and messaging. There are so many potential touchpoints in a one million-square-foot building. Our clients can use their new canvas to communicate messages about energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling and more. I always laugh thinking about the signs in the bathrooms at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia telling fans to “recycle beer here.”

We encourage clients to find strategic partnerships that support their broader sustainability goals. For example, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which achieved LEED Platinum, partnered with Georgia Power to integrate more than 4,000 solar PV panels. Every year they generate enough energy to power nine Atlanta Falcons games and 13 Atlanta United matches.

Read the full interview on HOK’s website.

The 2018 Super Bowl Stadium Offsets 100% Of Its Own Energy

Green Matters
By Brian Spaen

2018.01.30-US Bank Energy Use-IMAGE

Image Source: Green Matters, via Flickr

The home of the Minnesota Vikings will be this year’s host for Super Bowl LII. While the team and fan base have to be disappointed in coming up just one game short of being in the championship game, they should be proud of their new stadium. Why? It offsets 100 percent of its electricity with renewable energy credits and uses a number of energy-efficient technologies. In fact, it’s LEED-Gold Certified.

As a cool aesthetic touch, the stadium’s massive windows and ETFE roof (ethlyene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene) provides amazing views of Minneapolis and gives it the feel of still playing outside without the cold weather.

Not only is this the first time ETFE has been used on such a major scale, but a signature design is the Legacy Gate, which has five of the world’s largest glass doors that are from 75 to 95 feet tall. By allowing so much light into the stadium, and with the majority of NFL games played during the day, this cuts out the need for so much artificial lighting.

How is the US Bank Stadium actually offsetting its energy use? 40 percent of the roof that uses zinc cladding provides additional heat in the winter or cooling relief in the summer, and it’s durable enough to withstand harsh winters. Compared to the old Metrodome, US Bank Stadium uses 16 percent less energy and 26 percent less lighting. The latter was achieved by using LED lighting that can turn on and off quickly and can change color. This is handy during pregame or halftime entertainment, or when a different event is happening inside the stadium.

US Bank Stadium is partnering with the NFL during the Super Bowl to recover more than 90 percent of stadium waste that will be generated on Sunday. Called “Rush2Recycle,” this effort hopes to sort recyclables from standard trash, compost food service ware, and will encourage those at the stadium to recycle or compost their garbage.

Read the full story.

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