Why Super Bowl XLVI Will Be the Greenest Yet

Eco-Leadership

Why Super Bowl XLVI Will Be the Greenest Yet

As one of the largest sports organizations in the country, the National Football League has a long-standing commitment to sustainable practices. In fact, for nearly two decades the NFL has been "greening" the management of Super Bowl. This year, however, the NFL has gone further than ever in that effort. Due to a partnership with Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation's longest serving clean energy provider, this weekend's game in Indianapolis should be the greenest yet.

The NFL has selected Green Mountain Energy to lead the charge by powering all of the major Super Bowl facilities with green power – including Lucas Oil Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLVI, the Indiana Convention Center, site of the NFL Experience Football Theme Park, and all four of the major NFL hotels including the NFL headquarters, the Super Bowl Media Center, and the AFC and NFC teams' hotels. The renewable energy provided will help the NFL avoid over 29 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions – about equal to the weight of nearly 33 million official NFL footballs.

"When we learned about the opportunity to provide green power to this year's Super Bowl, we jumped at it," explained Paul Thomas, President of Green Mountain Energy Company. "Powering a big, iconic event like this with renewable energy is a perfect fit for Green Mountain. We look for partners who understand sustainability is not just good for the environment, it's good business."

Green Mountain is supplying 15,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with the electricity used at the major NFL Super Bowl venues. RECs provide an additional revenue stream that can help build future renewable energy facilities.

Beyond renewable energy, reducing the environmental footprint of the big game also takes a big a commitment. The NFL and Green Mountain are working closely with the host city of Indianapolis to leave behind a lasting positive impact. This includes planting trees in urban areas of Indianapolis as well as donating a residential solar array to help revitalize one of the city's central neighborhoods.

Check out the infographic below for a quick look at the environmental impact of Super Bowl XLVI:

Super Bowl XLVI Goes Green | Green Mountain Energy Company

The teams and fans are also taking part. Green Mountain is providing carbon offsets to balance out the greenhouse gas emissions created by the Patriots' and Giants' air and ground travel and has also offered up tips to fans on how to green their Super Bowl party.

"Green Mountain Energy Company has helped us reduce the overall environmental impact of Super Bowl activities," according to NFL Environmental Program Director Jack Groh. "Together, we have been able to expand the way we address greenhouse gas emissions and leave a permanent benefit to the host community."

The NFL's environmental commitment and green leadership is a great step forward for professional sports. In addition to Green Mountain's efforts, the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee also developed the 1st & Green program to encourage individuals, households and groups to offset carbon emissions and save water.

The greening of the professional sports business is catching on. Last year NASCAR launched a multi-year bio-fuels program as part of its "NASCAR Green" environmental initiative – which over the years has also included a massive recycling program, saving more than 1,000 tons of waste in 2011. Individual teams are also catching wind. Teams from 13 different sports leagues have joined the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization helping sports teams, venues, and leagues enhance their environmental performance.

Greening up professional sports continues to be a win for fans and business alike.

Stadium photo CC-licensed by hyku.