How Green is Super Bowl 47?

Super Bowl 47 Logo with Green background  - Is it green?

Of course they say Super Bowl XLVII will be the greenest one ever.  They said the same thing last year too.  I’m all for progress, but let’s look at the green and not so green aspects of Super Bowl XLVII.

The host committee will offset energy used for transportation of the teams, cheerleaders, support staff and coaches as well as the hotels and the major venues by purchasing carbon credits from a Diary Farm that is capturing methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.  The technical errors in the press release confusing energy and power do not inspire confidence, but if we assume they meant 4,500 MWh of energy the CO2 amounts are in the right ballpark.

Approximately 4,500 megawatts of power will be needed, resulting in some 3.8 million pounds of CO2.
error quoted from press release

I do like that they are including the transportation and lodging for the players, staff and cheerleaders this year. Last year, Super Bowl XLVI purchased renewable energy credits instead of carbon credits which avoided the emissions of 29 million pounds of CO2 last year.
Super Bowl 47 New Orleans Geaux Green

I looked, but could not find any mentions of green features of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Another green action is that they will take the left over food that for various events including the game and distribute it to local food pantries and soup kitchens through Second Harvest Food Bank.  Of course, they can only do this for the food that was prepared but never served.  What happens to all the food waste that fans throw away, you know the half eaten burger and fries?  It will end up in a landfill.  I would love to see them collected all that post consumer food waste and compost it.

The host committee is offering a free bicycle valet service and bicycle sharing program.  Last year they had premium parking for plugin vehicles.  I hope most of the fans take public transit to the game once they are in town as getting out of any stadium after a football game is an environmental nightmare sitting in stop and go traffic for hours.

For those traveling farther than you can expect most people to ride a bike, they have arranged a carbon offset option that fans traveling to the game can purchase for about $5 per ton of CO2.  I have mixed feelings about offset programs and one of my earliest posts was about my Alternative Carbon Offset idea.  For those watching the game at home, you can join in the fun by pledging to take some green actions of your own in the Geaux Green Game.

They are also giving back to the New Orleans community by helping to install 80,000 free CFLs (I’d rather see them installing LEDs) and planting 7,000 trees.

My favorite green action for this Super Bowl is the recycling of the Super Bowl 46 Banners into eco-sport bags after the game.

All in all, they are doing a lot of good things to lessen the impact of the Super Bowl.  All of the environmental actions are green and I’m very glad to see them happening, but…  Maybe it’s because the Patriots aren’t in it this year, but Super Bowl XLVII does not feel to me like the “greenest Super Bowl ever.”

Enjoy the game, or the commercials.  Here are some of our green party tips from last year that you can do to make your own Super Bowl Party greener, even if you are not a Packers fan.

Happy Greening!


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