Baseball is a social institution with social responsibilities, and caring for the environment is inextricably linked to all aspects of the game. Sound environmental practices make sense in every way and protect our natural resources for future generations of baseball fans. Neil Boland, VP Major League Baseball, November 2015
In 2005, Major League Baseball partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the first league-wide greening program in professional sports. Since the launch of this partnership, nearly all MLB franchises have established numerous ballpark sustainability initiatives.
Sports arenas affect their surrounding environmental systems in four major ways: through their energy and water consumption, by generating massive amounts of solid waste during games, and through the air pollution resulting from fans’ going to and from the playing field.
The linked article (below) presents a sampling of what some baseball teams are doing to go green, be it in newly built playing facilities or by retrofitting existing ballparks. The improvements mentioned are all evidently doable and have proved to be not only beneficial to the environment, but also cost-effective to franchise owners and welcomed by the host communities.
Regardless of the outcome of the Arlington stadium election in November, we fervently hope the Rangers organization will heed the green call and commit to the core principles of sustainability in large sports arenas, both for cost-saving purposes and to set an example of the ethos of conservation leadership for the Texas business community. By going green, the Rangers will enjoy a unique opportunity to reward their loyal fans with a gift that will endure and make us proud to have them as our team.
Note: A longer version of this blog appeared in the October issue of the Post Oak, pg. 10. Click here for the longer version.