By Geoffrey Clark
The Chicago COP21 Report
Since the five Chicago stadiums examined here were opened between 1914 and 1994, environmental awareness has reached epic proportions and these stadiums have done their best to adapt accordingly. It helps that more than one renovation has taken place at each to one degree or another. While greener features are not always part of these renovations, implementing them inconspicuously over time still shows how ambitious stadiums and their tenants are.
Each stadium sets its own goals and urges its visitors to respect the environment just as much as its employees. Most of the time, visitors don’t do more than recycle their trash. So it’s up to the venue to go the extra mile. Fortunately, these stadiums have stepped up to the plate.
No stadium in Chicago has been more recognized for its efforts to go green than Soldier Field, opened in 1924 and reopened following renovations in 2003. The renovations signaled a time to implementseveral programs to improve the environmental impact of the stadium. This included lots of recycling programs, charging electric vehicles, using green cleaning chemicals, reusing the sod and soil removed during re-sodding for landscaping purposes and the installation of LED lights. The venue made history in Dec. 2011 when it became the first existing stadium in North America and first NFL stadium to receive LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Building) status from the U.S. Green Building Council.