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Go Green This Superbowl: Root for America’s Greenest Football Team

Blake inspecting the solar integrated into the Eagles’ stadium & parking lot. Photo Credit: Nick Herrschaft

If you’re not from Boston or Philly, you might be having trouble deciding who to root for this season.

Both cities are central to the story of America. Boston is famous for its tea party and being one of the nation’s earliest settlements. Meanwhile, Philadelphia was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and was the capital of the United States from 1790-1800. Every American’s famous Renaissance man and early electricity expert, Ben Franklin, famously called both cities home.

You may be thinking, “how do I choose who to root for next Sunday?” Or maybe you’re thinking, “what is this doing on a DNV GL Energy blog?” The answer to both those questions is simple: I’m telling you to root for the Philadelphia Eagles due to their unparalleled dedication to renewable energy, carbon emissions reductions, and the environment. Let’s take a look at the Eagles’ long-standing “Go Green” effort as a model for how the spirit of competition can drive carbon commitments.

Let’s take a quick peek at the energy side of things. Both teams have installed on-site solar panels to offset stadium energy usage, but Lincoln Financial Field takes the cake, with 11,000 solar panels providing three times more generation capacity than Gillette Stadium.

Wind Turbines – Photo credit: Blake Herrschaft

The Eagles stadium is also a test site for on-site wind turbines. As shown in the grey photo below, weather in Philly can be rough. While windy days might result in the occasional miss by Eagles kicker Jake Elliott, harnessing that wind helps the Philadelphia Eagles run a carbon-free operation.

Horizontal axis wind turbines, like the ones on the Linc, perform better than traditional turbines in urban environments because they are safer at high speeds, and have a power curve capable of collecting energy at lower wind velocities typical in urban environments. Gillette Stadium has not installed any on-site wind, preferring to spend their money on things like a giant inland lighthouse complete with a foghorn.

When it comes to citywide renewable energy targets, both Boston and Philadelphia have recently made aggressive promises to be 100% renewable electricity by 2035. Cities like Palo Alto and countries like Norway, Iceland, and Costa Rica have paved the way by going to 100% renewable electricity years ago. To see that progress turn into promises like this from cities without the copious sun and hydro of other locations gives hope. Thank you, Northeast US!

We’ve talked about carbon, but in the sustainable buildings team we tend to obsess about holistic sustainability efforts including water use reduction, zero waste, sustainable sites, and green materials. Here’s a quick list of other efforts the Eagles are making to maintain the throne of greenest team in the league:

  • 4 MWh of energy produced each year
  • 330 pound bio-digester helps compost food waste at the site
  • 99% of stadium waste is diverted from landfills
  • 100% of the Eagles’ team operations are powered by renewable energy. That includes the flight they just took to Minnesota
  • The Eagles use only green cleaning products throughout the stadium
  • Lincoln Financial Field is on the site of the old Veteran’s stadium, meaning no green space was developed to build the stadium
  • Solar parking canopies help reduce the heat island effect, which helps mitigate the increased air conditioning energy use experienced by cities due to acres of asphalt

In closing, do yourself and the planet a favor this Sunday. Root for the Philadelphia Eagles to win their first Superbowl.

NB: This was grudgingly posted by Patriots fans. However, we are magnanimous and accept that the Eagles are greener than the Patriots. For now. Go Pats!

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