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Pocono Raceway Green Successes and Future Outlook

2018.04.19.Pocono Green Successes-IMAGE

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.”

View the full story here.

Pro Sports Going Green Makes Dollars And Cents

Forbes

Nascar is going green (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Nascar is going green (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

It hasn’t taken long for sports organizations and athletes to set and meet ambitious goals to go green. Members of the Green Sports Alliance, which boasts some 500 professional and collegiate leagues, teams, venues, vendors, and athletes, takes the stance that if it’s good for the environment and good for the community, it’s going to be good for business. Among those nearly 500 organizations, here are a few examples:

NASCARs Pocono Raceway: “If it can be done, it will be done.”

Few Americans would make a ready link between environmental sustainability and auto racing, but NASCAR is serious about it. Consider Pocono’s “Tricky Triangle.” It’s the first major American venue to run entirely on solar — the solar farm that powers it sits next to the track. The solar farm has already produced over 24 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and is expected to generate over 72 million kWh during its first 20 years of operation. To date, Pocono Raceway’s solar farm has offset over 16,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 3,600 passenger vehicles. Biofuel powers the racecar engines that are lubricated with recycled oils and fluids. And Nascar’s green commitment doesn’t stop on the track.

Raceways like Pocono face a recycling problem unique to the sport: what to do with all those tires; just a single race can go through 600. But these disposables are reborn to new life in ways you’ve come across without even knowing it: the portable speed bump you drive over, the anti-fatigue mat you stand on while you cook, the friendly playground surface where your kids play without scrapes all come from ‘crumb rubber,’ the recycled residue from used tires. Even the paint on your automobile may include material that once competed for the checkered flag.

Keeping cool at the Golden 1 Center is a breeze.

Before even starting conceptual drawings for their 17,500-seat sports venue, the Sacramento Kings surveyed Sacramento residents to find out what they wanted in an arena. This fully solar-powered, LEED-Platinum gem in the heart of California’s Central Valley is the result. Golden 1 Center also seats 19,000 music fans for a full array of concerts. Among its many innovations, and one of its most distinctive features are the 50-foot-high glass hangar doors. They open to take advantage of Sacramento’s delta breeze, creating natural cooling in a city where outdoor temperatures can top 100 degrees. Dedicated vents pipe in cool air directly under arena seating. Energy use in the Golden 1 Center is reduced by 30% over California Title 24 code, so that there are 2,000 fewer tons of annual carbon emissions, and a 45% reduction in water use is also well above California code.

The fertile farmland of the Central Valley supports Golden 1 Center’s 10-point Farm-to-Court philosophy regarding food service. A full 90% of their ingredients come from within a 150 mile radius. What isn’t served to fans and guests goes to the Sacramento Food Bank; any food waste gets processed into fertilizer that nourishes the soil at local farms.

Andrew Ference: from hockey to the VC arena

Recognized with the Green Sports Alliance’s Environmental Leadership Award, the highest in sports sustainability, NHL defenseman Andrew Ference played 16 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, and the Edmonton Oilers. Now retired from the sport at 37, his next career sits squarely in the world of business. With a certificate in Corporate Sustainability and Innovation from Harvard’s extension school, he’s entered the world of high risk, high reward venture capital — in particular, by involvement with clean tech startups.

Ference’s commitment to the environment is long-standing. Over 10 years ago, he was instrumental in starting NHL Green, now a league-wide sustainability initiative. Today, he’s using that same relationship-building approach he used then to get other environmentally-savvy athletes on board for a new speakers’ bureau focused on spreading the word on sustainability.

The New York Yankees and PlanLED: lighting the way in schools

After the success of the lighting conversion to LED at Seattle’s Safeco Field, the New York Yankees partnered with Seattle-based PlanLED to do a retrofit of their own beloved stadium. The work on the stadium is complete, and the work in the community is in its early innings.

They’ve teamed up with Mariano Rivera and SHINE HOPE, which takes profits from commercial retrofits and uses the money to fund upgrades to LED systems in local schools. Since its inception, hundreds of schools have received free state-of-the-art LED lights that offer truer, more natural light. These lights are environmentally friendly, much less expensive to power, and they are linked to health and increased learning. This past year, projects in two classrooms alone saved over 17,000 kWh.

Aramark: Stepping up to the plate – the dinner plate.

Some of the biggest impacts in the world of sports and sustainability aren’t on the field, but are found in related fan services, particularly in regard to food and drink. Hospitality companies such as the $15 billion food services giant Aramark, which serves 100 million sports fans each year, understand this.

Ingredient sourcing, appropriate waste disposal, and cleanup are just as essential to their mission as working with top chefs to develop menus that are fresh, locally sourced, and sustainably harvested to meet the needs of more discerning palates. They’ve already met their commitment to use only cage-free shell eggs in the US by 2015. They are on track with other protein goals: sustainable seafood by 2018, and group-housed pork by 2022As part of their contracts with Aramark, concessionaires they work with at individual sports venues have switched to compostable service ware instead of plastics.

Green appears to be the newest trend in sports!

Read the full story here.

Can the Best New Female Racer Make It to Nascar? That’s the $15 Million Question

Bloomberg Businessweek
By Josh Dean

Julia Landauer is just what the sport needs, yet she’s still scrapping for sponsors.

PHOTO CREDIT: CAIT OPPERMANN FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

PHOTO CREDIT: CAIT OPPERMANN FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

As soon as she could see over the steering wheel, Julia Landauer switched to cars, and it was good. Up to that point, she had been racking up trophies as one of the country’s best young go-kart racers; at 13 she was finally able to see out a car’s windshield while also working its pedals, so off she went in 2005 to the famed Skip Barber Racing School. She took immediately to the upgraded complexity, and speed, of a vehicle that had a clutch and could do 120 miles per hour, and the next year, at 14, she became the first female champion in the 31-year history of the Skip Barber Series, a launchpad for professional racers.

As is the case with all child racers, Landauer’s expensive hobby was funded by her parents, a doctor and a lawyer who got all three of their kids into go-karts because, her father decided, racing was one of only three sports that allowed boys and girls to truly compete on equal footing (archery and sky diving being the others). “The goal was just to get them to take responsibility, to get used to functioning under a little bit of pressure, and to have fun,” says Steve Landauer (he’s the doctor). The Landauers also liked that racing taught their girls to “not succumb to a lot of the social norms about stepping out of the way,” adds Tracy, her mom.

But the Landauers had no idea how talented their oldest child would be until she started winning races—and then didn’t stop. Even before Julia won the Skip Barber Series, she had decided she was going to be a professional driver someday. “By the time I was 12, I was like, ‘I could do this forever,’ ” she says.

And that posed a problem: If Julia really did stick with it, becoming a pro racer was likely to take years and cost tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get to a point where she might start earning money. The Landauers were happy to support their daughter and would keep contributing to the best of their ability, but they weren’t about to go broke doing it. So they began an open dialogue that put some of the onus on her. If Julia wanted to keep racing, she’d eventually have to figure out a way to supplement the costs.

Read the full article.

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