Better Buildings Teams Up With Green Sports Alliance

When the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released the solar development guide it prepared for every team in major league sports, one of its senior scientists was quoted as saying, “the private sector does not have to wait for government action in order for them to address the urgent issue of climate change.” But now it appears that old Uncle Sam is getting on the green sports bandwagon too, as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge has joined forces with the Green Sports Alliance in helping to green the nation’s sports facilities.

Among the highlights stemming from the partnership so far include the energy efficient lighting overhaul of the Los Angeles Staples Center, which replaced over 3,000 halogen fixtures with LEDs, thereby reducing energy consumption by 12 percent and energy costs by over $80,000 per year.

green sports mariners

image via DOE

In Seattle, the Mariners’ Safeco Field likewise installed high efficiency lighting, as well as public EV charging stations. Additionally, the facility has cut its carbon footprint via the addition of a 32.76-kilowatt-capacity rooftop solar array. This array — consisting of 168 solar panels installed on the elevator canopy of the parking garage and roof of the skybridge — generates 40,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually to power the facility’s internal televisions and monitors.

In St. Louis, the  Cardinals’ Busch Stadium also got some on-site renewable energy in the mix with 106 new solar panels. The system produces 37,000 kWh of electricity on an annual basis.

And if those last two projects sound familiar, it’s because they were completed last April, before this partnership officially began. Ah, well — the private sector need not wait for government on climate change, but clearly, government doesn’t mind a little retroactive involvement with successful leadership in the private sector.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.