Published by the Delaware County Daily Times July 25, 2019
By Joseph Batory, Times Columnist
This organization has received Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. This award recognizes high-performing facilities/buildings using green energy and related efficiencies, decreased utility costs, exemplary recycling and composting, and other measures to protect the environment and reduce climate change.
This LEED certification is a shining example in the Greater Philadelphia area and nationally of responsible corporate management and environmental stewardship.
So just who is this remarkable organization? The answer is The Philadelphia Eagles.
To begin, you may have noticed the retrofitted construction on Lincoln Financial Field’s exterior walls. These wind turbines (14) and solar panels (11,000) have been creating and are continuing to produce 100% clean energy for the stadium as well as substantial savings in energy costs.
And this Eagles’ “Go Green” program goes much further.
Sustainability as a way of operating dominates the Eagles’ thinking. 99% of the waste generated in the stadium is now diverted away from the landfills. On game days, several tons of food waste are composted by Food Digesters.
The Aerobic Bio-Digester at Lincoln Financial Field decomposes and turns food waste into a liquid which can be safely sent down the drain. For 2018, 28 tons of food waste at Lincoln Financial Field were diverted from landfill disposal.
Additional food waste (leftover pretzels, hot dogs, etc.) at the stadium is picked up and sent to an Aerobic Food Composting center on a local farm which processes the material into potting soil and mulch.
The Eagles are also very big on recycling. From an 8% collection rate when the program began about 15 years ago, stadium recycling is achieving a 99% rate at present. The 2018 recycling numbers are staggering: Energy From Waste, 821 tons; Cardboard, 115 tons; Stadium Co-mingles, 253 tons; Food Compost, 57 tons; Aluminum, 25 tons; Waste Oil, 12 tons; and Eco-friendly cleaning solutions, 85,000 gallons.
In another area of environmental concern, with the help of The Conservation Fund, the Eagle have been offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions from their team travel. In 2018, by participating in reforestation events, 582 metric tons of CO2 were offset by the planning of 483 bottomland hardwood seedlings.
And, in partnership with the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), the Eagles’ organization will also be planting another 280 trees in The Eagles Field Goal Forest this year. And PGW has pledged to add 10 more tree plantings for each Eagles field goal this year.
It doesn’t stop there. Water filtration fountains throughout the Linc have reduced the use of nearly 200,000 plastic water bottles since 2015. And with help from the Aramark Corporation, the Eagles have switched from traditional plastic straws to straws made from 100% renewable resources. As a result, an estimated 500,000 traditional plastic straws have not been added to landfills.
Finally, the Eagles provide bicycles for those employees to consider not using cars and SEPTA passes have been purchased for employees to use when trekking into center city and other nearby areas.
All of this is mind-boggling. In these days when it is all too common to learn about corporate corruption, greed, and irresponsibility, the Eagles’ franchise has become a national corporate model dedicated to high environmental and energy standards which can only create a better world. And with owner Jeff Lurie’s encouragement, this “Go Green” organization continues to experiment with new sustainability procedures and enhance what they are currently doing.
“Fly Eagles, Fly!” On the football field of course…and thanks for what you are doing for our planet and present and future generations!
Joseph Batory is the author of three books and numerous published articles.