Greening Sports to Combat Climate Change

Bob Nationals

I’ve been a sports fan all my life. I have so many great memories of going to games with my family and playing sports with friends and teammates.  Sports play a special role in our country – our local teams are part of our daily lives and part of the pride we take in our communities.  Sports bring Americans together everyday.

Today, EPA released a new Green Sports Resource Directory to help sports venues and teams save energy, cut waste and prevent harmful pollution.

Teams across the country are already doing a lot of great work to protect people’s health and the environment. The Seattle Mariners have used energy efficiency techniques to reduce their electricity consumption by over 90%, and reduce energy costs by $50,000 per year. The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, home of the Brooklyn Nets, recently earned a LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and has challenged fans to “be green” by using public transit, recycling, and reducing paper waste associated with tickets.

GreenSports_Scoreboard Rev-page-001

I’m speaking to the Green Sports Alliance today, and I plan to thank them for their great work – and challenge them to do more. As you know, President Obama announced a Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and protect our communities from the impacts of climate change. Everyone has a role to play in the effort to combat climate change, and our sports teams have the opportunity to be winners in this effort.

Commercial buildings, including sports venues, in the U.S. are responsible for about 20 percent of both our country’s energy use and carbon pollution at a cost of more than $100 billion each year. Increasing energy efficiency, reducing water use and implementing recycling programs can help cut harmful carbon pollution and save money.

The work to protect our climate is an extension of the work many sports organizations are already doing to protect people’s health and the environment. President Obama has stated that the United States will be a leader in the fight against climate change. We’re counting on a strong partnership with our sports organizations to help us face this challenge: to curb carbon pollution, adapt to the changing climate and help educate fans about the benefits of protecting our environment.

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