Seattle is abuzz with excitement this week after the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC Championship and advance to play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.
We at BGI congratulate the Seahawks on their exhilarating victory over a major rival. As we await the next big game, we want to also express our admiration for the Seahawks and what their sustainability efforts provide to the Seattle community even when the game is over.
For the past decade, the Seahawks and CenturyLink Field have been dedicated to improving their environmental impact through the Defend Your Turf program. Defend Your Turf is focused on initiatives in four main areas: waste reduction, water conservation, energy efficiency and community engagement. Among the highlights of their main accomplishments:
- 94 percent of waste from CenturyLink Field is diverted from landfills, up from 47 percent four years ago
- Five million gallons of biodiesel were produced in 2012 from recycling cooking oil
- 100 percent of food containers are compostable
- CenturyLink Field reduced its water use by 15 percent in 2012
- Low-flow water fixtures save 1.3 million gallons annually
- Cleaning processes are low-chemical and all cleaners and soaps are certified by Green Seal
- Energy consumption was reduced by 12 percent in 2012
- CenturyLink Event Center is topped with solar panels that meet 30 percent of the facility’s energy needs
- Arch lighting has been converted to programmable, efficient LEDs
- CenturyLink Field encourages visitors to arrive using public transit
- 4,600 meals are donated annually to Food Lifeline and Operation Sack Lunch
- The field’s concessions partner provides sustainable, local and organic food
These achievements are remarkable in their own right and especially so considering their ripple effect. In 2010, the Seahawks joined forces with the Sounders FC, other sports teams in the Pacific Northwest, Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council to form the Green Sports Alliance. The Alliance is a nonprofit aimed at helping sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance and represents more than 200 teams and venues from 16 leagues since launching nationally in 2011.
“With the support of the Alliance and its partners, members are reducing waste, conserving energy and water and eliminating toxic chemicals, among many other ongoing initiatives and accomplishments. They are integrating sustainability into their core operations, engaging fans and saving substantial sums of money in the process,” said Green Sports Alliance Membership Director and BGI alumnus David Muller.
The task at hand for any sports team is clearly to work hard and win games. The Seahawks are leading the way to an even higher purpose. With nearly 2 million fans visiting CenturyLink Field every year, the impact of their sustainability efforts is significant. The nation’s eyes will be on the Seahawks on Feb. 2; we’re proud to call them our neighbors on game day – and every day.
Laura Ippen is currently enrolled in BGI’s MBA in Sustainable Business program and also works as the Website Coordination intern for BGI in Seattle. She previously worked as a Sustainability Coordinator for UnityPoint Health in Des Moines, IA and is passionate about the connection between environmental and public health.
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Bainbridge Graduate Institute prepares students from diverse backgrounds to design, lead, and evolve enterprises in pursuit of the common good. Degrees include MBAs in Sustainable Business and Sustainable Systems, an MA in Organizational Leadership, and Certificates in Sustainable Energy Solutions, Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems, and Sustainable Built Environment. Learn more at bgi.edu or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.