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MLB Celebrates ‘Earth Day’ by Highlighting Sustainability Efforts

MLB News

MLB Greening Logo (1)

Major League Baseball is celebrating ‘Earth Day’ (Sunday, April 22nd) by highlighting a variety of league-wide sustainability efforts activated by MLB and its clubs. Key initiatives include ‘GREEN TEAMS’ and sustainability-focused activations during MLB All-Star Week in Washington, D.C., partnerships with Arizona State University & Change the Course, front office volunteer efforts as well as efforts led by MLB Clubs.

‘GREEN TEAMS’ & Sustainable Activations During 2018 All-Star Week
Major League Baseball will continue to support sustainable efforts during its Midsummer Classic in Washington, D.C. this coming July. During All-Star Week (Thursday, July 12th-Tuesday, July 17th), MLB will partner with George Washington University and Georgetown University to activate ‘GREEN TEAMS,’ a group of students that encourages environmental awareness during MLB All-Star events. ‘GREEN TEAM’ efforts include a college course with a sustainability focus, collecting recyclables at ballpark and community events, and educating fans on positive environmental practices. ‘GREEN TEAM’ members will also participate in a special All-Star environmental volunteer event at Richard England Clubhouse #14 of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

MLB will also seek to offset the environmental footprint of player travel, to and from Washington, D.C., as well as offsetting energy and water used at Nationals Park by purchasing renewable energy credits and water restoration credits in conjunction with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the Change the Course program. Additionally, MLB will encourage fans to walk or take public transportation in between events with a special ‘Kaiser Permanente All-Star Green Path.’

Special Spring Training Activations with Arizona State University & Change the Course
Major League Baseball and Arizona State University collaborated on a unique and groundbreaking sustainability partnership during 2018 Spring Training presented by Camping World. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, was the focus site of the “Recycle Rally” initiative that tested and implemented zero waste strategies with the overarching goals of reducing landfill impact, increasing operational efficiencies, and improving the fan experience across all Cactus League ballparks.

MLB also partnered with Change the Course, a national freshwater restoration campaign, to offset 100% of water usage in the Cactus League this year by rehabilitating endangered watersheds. MLB balanced the water footprint of the Cactus League and helped restore five million gallons of freshwater in critically depleted rivers and streams across Arizona. The offset of water funded the Colorado River Basin and tributaries, primarily supporting the Verde River.

Upcycling With Refried Tees
As part of its green initiative, Major League Baseball recognizes upcycling as an innovative means toward a green and sustainable future. In support of those efforts, MLB licensee Refried Tees is proud to display MLB’s Official Green Label on its Twice-Baked™ Apparel. Refried Tees helps teams and licensees cycle surplus inventory back into the marketplace by transforming dead-stock tee shirts and jerseys into stylish apparel such as dresses, skirts and t-shirts.

MLB Front Office to Volunteer at Local Variety Boys & Girls Clubs
April 21st in Queens, N.Y. – In celebration of Earth Day, front office employees at MLB, MLB Network and MLB Advanced Media will volunteer at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Queens, N.Y. Volunteers will be tasked with revitalizing the Club, including planting flowers and building raised planters for the garden, enhancing the media room and building a small, portable library for Club members.

MLB to Donate Excess Food Following ‘MLB FoodFest’
Following the first-ever ‘MLB FoodFest’, Major League Baseball will donate excess food to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to helping feed the nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers facing hunger. ‘MLB Foodfest’ is a one-of-a kind indoor food festival featuring special selections from each of the 30 MLB Clubs served under one roof. The event will be held over two days beginning on Saturday, April 21st and concluding on Sunday, April 22nd in New York City.

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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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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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