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Efforts to “Green” Fenway Yields EPA Award for Red Sox and NRDC

Release Date: 04/23/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Apr. 22, 2008) – Historic Fenway Park – home of the World Champion Red Sox – is becoming more green, without a new coat of paint. The work to address environmental issues at the 96 year old baseball stadium has earned an EPA “Environmental Merit Award” for its excellence.

The award, presented by EPA to both the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and to the Boston Red Sox, is for a program that is already showing significant results in putting environmental considerations at the forefront of logistical decisions about how the organization presents events at the ballpark.

NRDC has teamed up with Major League Baseball, and is piloting a program with the Red Sox, to help address the significant environmental issues associated with bringing tens of thousands of fans together at dozens of stadiums nearly every day for six months at a stretch. NRDC developed a “Greening Advisor” for major league sports teams to use and apply across the country.

Tapping in to the expertise and advice of NRDC, the Red Sox have aggressively instituted a major, 5-year effort to make Fenway Park one of the greenest destinations in baseball. The Red Sox organization is setting strong but attainable goals, such as to recycle the majority of plastic drink containers used in the park, and to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 20 percent.

The Red Sox have enlisted local university students to make up “Green Teams” who will be present at every game at Fenway to roam the stands and to facilitate fans’ “recycling on the go” of their plastic cups and bottles. The Red Sox have also enlisted the talents of their greatest resource – their beloved World Series Championship team – to record announcements to be played over Fenway Park’s public address and video screens, encouraging fans to do their part to care for the environment by recycling at the ball park and at home.

While many teams are going green when building a new stadium, the Red Sox organization has made a much more difficult commitment: to transform a 96 year old historic ballpark into a modern, green, environmentally-friendly place. Other projects underway include installing solar panels to help heat hot water and installing energy-efficient LED lighting displays in the park, which use just one-tenth the power of equivalent, traditional lighting displays.

More information: EPA’s Environmental Merit Awards (epa.gov/ne/ra/ema)

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