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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 11 March 2008 07:12

MLBImagine going to a ballgame and having a green beer. No, this isn’t about St. Patrick’s Day, it’s about renewable resources. The cup holding your beer could be made of biodegradable corn starch.

As MLB has pursued the idea of “green” stadiums (see the new Nationals ballpark, and new Twins stadiums as two examples), today marks a massive shift in how MLB is going to do business as the league looks to minimize its carbon footprint.

Major League Baseball and the Natural Resources Defense Council today announce the creation of a Team Greening Program. This program was developed to support and coordinate the many environmentally-sensitive practices now pursued by virtually every Major League Baseball Club. The announcement marks the first time that Major League Baseball will implement a league-wide environmental protection strategy.

“Baseball is a social institution with social responsibilities and caring for the environment is inextricably linked to all aspects of our game,” said Commissioner Selig. “Sound environmental practices make sense in every way and protect our natural resources for future generations of baseball fans.”

The Team Greening Program, a collaboration of Major League Baseball and NRDC, will provide to each Club an individualized NRDC Team Greening Advisor for Major League Baseball, which is a web-based software tool featuring advice and resources for every aspect of a Club’s operations. This unprecedented program, more than two years in development, will expand on the industry’s best practices, offering specific local advice concerning such topics as energy use, purchasing, concession operations, water use, recycling and transportation.

“MLB’s greening initiative is good for the environment and the bottom line,” said Frances Beinecke, NRDC President. “Their work will save energy, reduce waste, and make the organization, the teams, and the stadiums all run more efficiently. By launching the NRDC Team Greening Program for Major League Baseball, the League is showing tremendous leadership, using its influence to show the world the importance of environmental protection and green business practices to protect and preserve this historic game for future generations.”

The NRDC Team Greening Advisor for Major League Baseball was developed through surveys which assessed the environmental practices in a number of operational areas, throughout the 2006 season. The surveys, sent to all 30 Clubs, demonstrated a high level of interest among Clubs in environmentally-sensitive operating policies and creative implementation of sound policies that should be more widely recognized and shared throughout the industry.

“The NRDC Team Greening Advisor for Major League Baseball should be used as a guide with ideas, suggestions and proposed policies for all Major League Clubs,” said John McHale, Executive Vice President, Administration & Chief Information Officer, Major League Baseball. “Many of our Clubs have already begun working to protect the environment and `their leading efforts form the core of this information. By partnering with NRDC to create this initiative, we are supporting the Clubs’ efforts, making available the Club’s best practices, and improving the health of our game.”

“The commitment by our national pastime to enhance its ecological profile in a meaningful and public way marks a watershed in the history of baseball and the environmental movement,” said Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist, NRDC. “No other sporting institution has influenced American culture as much as baseball and the League is once again putting that influence to very good use.”

The NRDC Team Greening Advisor for Major League Baseball aggregates the best practices of the Clubs and dramatically expands the range of advice and potential sources of assistance concerning environmentally-sensitive and sensible business operations for each Club. Topics include:

  • Adopting an official environmental policy
  • Incorporating environmental language into contracts, purchasing policies and requests for proposals that specify preferences for environmentally sound products and services
  • Encouraging the use of renewable energy
  • Providing information about how to credibly offset the carbon emissions related to team and fan transportation
  • Using post-consumer recycled content paper for all paper products
  • Implementing paper reduction strategies in offices
  • Offsetting the environmental impact of up to half team and employee travel
  • Establishing Club eco-committee

As part of this ongoing relationship, Major League Baseball and NRDC will also provide materials throughout the League’s ballparks to encourage fans to make environmental changes in their own homes and businesses. The NRDC Team Greening Advisor for Major League Baseball has also been posted on www.mlb.com, as well as each MLB Club website, and www.greensports.org/mlb for use in the communities in which Major League Baseball teams are located.

Source: Press Release - Major League Baseball


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
 
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