Super Bowl XLV will be green –and that’s not just because the Packers will be playing.
In fact, thanks to an expanded environmental initiative, this Sunday’s 2011 Super Bowl is being billed as the greenest NFL championship on record.
But, how can an event like the Super Bowl possibly be environmentally-friendly?
For starters, think renewable energy certificates (RECs). A new collaboration between Just Energy, the National Football League (NFL) and the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee will ensure that all direct and indirect carbon emissions associated with power generation at major Super Bowl XLV venues will be offset with RECs. So, for every megawatt of electricity used in the production of Super Bowl XLV, one megawatt of renewable energy will be generated by the Sweetwater Wind Farm located in Sweetwater, Texas, 228 miles west of Dallas.
That’s a significant commitment because the Super Bowl gobbles up an enormous amount of energy.
Cowboys Stadium consumes electricity, as do other event-related activities and facilities, such as the NFL Super Bowl headquarters, the Super Bowl media center, the AFC and NFC team hotels, and the NFL Experience Football Theme Park (which is the largest public event at the Super Bowl).
As remarkable as it sounds, Just Energy estimates the event requires approximately the same amount of energy needed to power 1,500 homes for one year.
“This year, the Super Bowl, and all human activities related to the Super Bowl, including hotel stays, public and private transit, broadcast transmissions, etc., are estimated to have a 15,000 megawatt carbon footprint. Under the greening program, Just Energy will purchase a 15M MW equivalent in renewable energy certificates to offset the carbon emissions produced by the Super Bowl XLV. So, in the end, the Super Bowl will have no environmental impact due to the carbon offset program,” Chris Brockbank, Chief Marketing Officer, Just Energy, said in an email interview.
For Just Energy, this offset program offers a “powerful opportunity” to join the NFL and lead by example before a global audience.
“An estimated 100 million - 130 million people around the world watch the Super Bowl. The example we are setting is that large public sporting events like the Super Bowl will not have an impact on the environment, and that this is a priority of the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee,” Brockbank explained. “Moreover, it was the NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committees decision to continue the greening program as well as to work with Just Energy to deliver the carbon offsets.”
In addition to this Green Energy initiative, the NFL has launched several other projects designed to address environmental impacts associated with the production of Super Bowl XLV. For instance:
Just Energy’s Brockbank sees collaborative efforts like these as part of a growing corporate sustainability trend.
“There is definitely a trend in that more and more companies are incorporating or expanding their environmental programs making them part of their Corporate Social Responsibility platforms. Not only that, but more companies see green as part of a competitive edge,” Brockbank concluded. “A recent report by the Environmental Defense Fund said that a growing number of companies are embracing environmentally safe practices and saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.”
Photo courtesy of Just Energy.