Sunday, April 22, 2018

Yankee Stadium Sustainability Initiatives

Yankee Stadium during a game this month. Photo by Jason Schott.

Since the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, the Yankees have always taken ecologically intelligent measures to help promote a sustainable environment.

The Yankees have been honored by the environmental industry for their commitment to keeping their ballpark "green."

In 2015, the Yankees received the Environmental Leadership Award, which was presented by the Green Sports Alliance. The award recognizes a sports team and venue that best exemplifies the practices of promoting a sustainable environment. Green Sports Alliance Members represent nearly 300 sports teams from 20 different leagues and 14 countries around the around.

At the 13th Annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards on November 15, 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recognized the Yankees among eight New York-based organizations for their state-of-the-art programs and commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability.

Yankees Vice President of Stadium Operations Doug Behar said when they received the award, "It is vitally important that we help promote sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment. We have implemented an array of green initiatives at Yankee Stadium and continue to look for new and better ways to conserve natural resources, educate our guests and Yankees Team Members, and support and partner with programs that promote sustainability."

In honor of Earth Day, let's take a look at some of the sustainability initiatives at Yankee Stadium.

High Efficiency LED Lighting: Prior to the 2016 baseball season, the Yankees installed the newest, most efficient lighting in the world, known as light-emitting diodes, or LED. At the time the LED field lighting was installed, Yankee Stadium became only the second Major League Baseball stadium to use the most state-of-the-art energy-efficient lighting system available. The LED lights used at Yankee Stadium are 40 percent more efficient and 50 percent brighter than the previous lighting used at The Stadium, which also were the most efficient lights available at the time. Increased Color Temperature of the light produced results in higher contrast, improving reaction time, alertness, and visual acuity. Improved Color Rendering provides the truest colors the human eye can see. Reduced Flicker Rate means the lighting can now support UHD Ultra Slow Motion filming. Improved optical design with twice the aiming points reduces glare and light pollution, and the energy saved from the new field lighting is enough to power about 45 homes every day.
Energy Efficient Technologies and Design: The Great Hall at Yankee Stadium, through which the majority of guests arrive at the ballpark, is the largest open air public entry at any sports venue in the world, a 31,000 square-foot inspirational space spanning  from Gate 4 to Gate 6. Bu building this area with massive open-air archways that allow for natural cooling and ventilation, the space requires no air conditioning. Through the use of natural air-cooling, the energy savings per game is approximately the same as 125 New York City apartments shutting off their air-conditioning on a hot summer day. The Stadium's interior is controlled by automation technologies designed to identify and eliminate wasted or inefficient energy use. The Stadium's high tech energy management program ensures that energy use is reduced and the efficiency of all equipment used is optimized. The diverse systems used to operate Yankee Stadium are carefully calibrated to specific usage patterns, reducing the power consumption of lighting and ventilation systems when they're not needed.
Offsetting Unavoidable GHG Emissions: Even the most efficient operations engender unavoidable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Team and employee travel, motors that require fossil fuel use, non-recyclable waste generation, and occasional leaks of refrigerants are all examples of GHG impacts that the Yankees carefully measure and offset through a collaboration with Eco-Evolutions and The Allcot Group. The high quality, third party verified GHG offsets that the Yankees invest in are carefully chosen to advance the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals,, benefiting communities in need by promoting new employment opportunities, improving health and safety, and protecting biodiversity. As a result, the Yankees are leading the way towards a low-carbon, more sustainable future.
Mass Transit: Yankee Stadium benefits from one of the greatest mass transit systems in the world, as fans can take the subway, Metro-North, buses, and other forms of mass transportation to get to the game. Yankee Stadium owns no public parking garages, and guests and employees are encouraged to use public transit in order to reduce the number of cars on the road and their greenhouse gas emissions.
Composting and Recycling: The Yankees are committed to achieving zero waste and promoting a circular economy based on composting, recycling, and the recovery and use of waste oil. Compostable cutlery and food-service packaging trays, boxes, plates, and cups, are used instead of non-compostable petroleum-based plastics. Food waste is composed and not landfilled, and cardboard, glass, metal, plastics, and paper are recycled. Through the overall efforts of fans and Stadium staff, approximately 85 percent of the Stadium's total trash is diverted away from landfills, making Yankee Stadium one of the most successful recycling venues in all of sports. The use of trash compactors for the small percentage of non-recovered waste at Yankee Stadium improves air quality by reducing the number of trash packer trucks needed. The trucks that are required use Ultra Low Sulfur diesel which provides fewer emissions into the air, and these emissions are offset by the Yankees.
Recovery of Waste Cooking Oil: During the course of a typical season, more than 20,000 gallons of cooking oil from The Stadium are recovered and recycled. This oil is used to produce more than 18.600 gallons of biodiesel fuel which, when used in vehicles, results in a carbon reduction of more than 30,000 pounds - the equivalent of removing approximately 27 cars from the road for a year.
Water Condervation: Yankee Stadium is a responsible steward when it comes to protecting New York State's precious and irreplaceable water system. Through careful monitoring and high efficiency plumbing fixtures, Yankee Stadium saves more than three million gallons of water each year, a reduction of 22 percent from water use prior to 2009, the first year of the new Stadium.
Healthy Air Quality: Yankee Stadium uses high-performance filters and a regular replacement program to ensure particle removal effectiveness of MERV 13 or greater, for better air quality and energy efficiency in our HVAC system.
Smart Construction: The structural steel used in the construction of Yankee Stadium was fabricated from recycled material, and the concrete forms were reusable. Used recycled concrete aggregate was incorporated into the concrete design mix. All construction vehicles and equipment were required to use low-sulfur fuel. During construction, 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills.

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