One day away from Super Bowl XLVI, one of the biggest annual sporting events in North America, many in the United States are anxiously counting down the hours and minutes until their national anthem is heralded and the first whistle blows. Unbeknownst to many, however, another kind of Super Bowl countdown has been marching down this week - the event's carbon impact.
The National Football League and the Indianapolis Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee have selected Green Mountain Energy to provide renewable energy credits (RECs) equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the electricity to power the event.
Green Mountain will provide 15,000 megawatt hours worth of RECs generated at wind farms in North Dakota to offset the electricity used at Lucas Oil Stadium, where the game will be played, the Indiana Convention Center and all four hotels hosting NFL teams and media.
According to Green Mountain the RECs will reduce the Super Bowl's carbon footprint by more than 14,000 tons over a period of a month leading up to and following the big game. And that is just for starters.
Green Mountain is also:
- providing carbon offsets for the air and ground travel for both teams playing in the game.
- donating a residential solar array as part of an Indianapolis Host Committee city revitalization effort
- joining the NFL to support urban forestry projects by planting trees in Indianapolis neighborhoods
The NFL claims that, through its Environmental Program, it has been "greening" the Super Bowl by "developing projects to address the overall climate change impact of the event" for the past 18 years. Partnering with Green Mountain in 2012 certainly is the most aggressive step towards addressing the game's carbon footprint.
Green Mountain also provided RECs for the electricity used at Aloha Stadium for last week's NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
For Green Mountain, NRG Energy Inc.'s renewable energy retailer, the NFL partnership is just another milestone in a growing list of major contacts. The Texas-based company touts its self as "the nation's longest serving provider of green power" and by looking at some of its contracts it may be the most prolific company of its kind in the U.S.
Just a year ago the company was selected by Malkin Holdings to provide RECs equivalent to 100% of the Empire State Building's electric consumption. Over the course of the two year contract Green Mountain will supply nearly 110 million kilowatt hours of wind energy RECs reducing the iconic New York landmark's carbon impact by 200 million pounds.
Since its inception in 1997 Green Mountain Energy has helped prevent as more than 14.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
Commenting on its involvement in this year's Super Bowl NFL Environmental Program Director Jack Groh said, “Green Mountain Energy Company has helped us reduce the overall environmental impact of Super Bowl activities. Together, we have been able to expand the way we address greenhouse gas emissions and leave a permanent benefit to the host community.”
Image Credit: NFL
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