On National Recycling Day, Eagles’ GO GREEN program knows no boundaries

Lincoln Financial Field is one of the most sustainable arenas in the world. As you can imagine, nearly 70,000 guests can create tens of thousands of pounds of trash in just one game day. But fans can rest assured, the stadium is 99.9% landfill free: any waste produced during a match, concert or event is sorted by a team of 60 sorters to ensure that anything that can be recycled is . The stadium boasts a closed-loop recycling programme, which reuses bottle caps and other plastic products that are recycled into new materials for use. In 2021, five park benches were made from 100 percent recycled stadium seats and 1,890 pounds of shrink wrap was reused.

“There are some really cool ways we’ve revolutionized our recycling process,” Vossschulte said. “The drywall in the stadium, for example, has a filler made from shrink wrap deliveries arriving at the stadium. Just another example of our closed loop recycling efforts.

The game day experience is nothing short of memorable, from the fireworks celebrating the start of a game to the Eagles’ fight song pulsing from the speakers after a touchdown. It’s all completely powered by clean energy. Lincoln Financial Field does not use fossil fuels: 40% of the energy used by the stadium is produced on site through solar panels that create four megawatts of energy per year. The team has the largest solar energy system in the NFL.

“Whether our fans are parking under the solar panels in the K Lot, sitting under the canopies in the 200 level, or sheltered from the elements at the south end of the stadium, they can rest assured that the cover that keeps them dry is, in fact , producing clean energy,” Vossschulte added.

Efforts to be a more sustainable organization don’t just live within the confines of Lincoln Financial Field; they have spread all over the world. In an effort to fully offset the CO2 and blue carbon emissions generated by team travel, the team have sought the most effective solutions through meaningful dialogue with industry experts, most recently traveling to London to represent the organization at the Sport Positive Summits. Held in partnership with the United Nations Climate Change and International Olympic Committee, the summit welcomed over 500 sustainability leaders from sports organizations from around the world to share best practices in the field of sustainability.

“We have learned through various conversations with scientists that it is very important to invest in the ocean. More specifically in kelp forests, sea grass and mangrove restoration because 80% of marine life lives in those areas of the ocean and only about 20% of the ocean has it,” Vossschulte said.

“Eighty percent of it is now gone. It’s very important because that’s basically where all life starts and ends, so if we don’t invest in the ocean now, we’re headed for big problems.”

Discovering this, the team decided to expand their strategy from tree planting to include contributions to ocean conservation through sea grass planting in Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico, in partnership with the Ocean Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy. Each year, scientists calculate mode of transport and miles traveled to discern how much algae need to be planted to offset emissions. In 2021, about 456 tons of CO2e were offset by three acres of seaweed. Vossschulte says the team found the effects turned into even more positive outcomes.

‘Most importantly, though, it has a double effect because it not only offsets blue carbon, but it also creates new habitats for marine life, which are really important for sustaining life in general. And it also creates jobs for areas that might be disadvantaged and/or for people who rely on this as their main income and main source of food,” Vossschulte said.

From earning LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council for implementing practical and measurable sustainability solutions, to becoming the first professional sports team to receive ISO 20121 certification, an international standard designed to help organizations to integrate sustainability into management practices and processes. they’ve reached milestones many have never seen, but Vossschulte says there’s still a lot of work to do. The Eagles have an ECO team, which stands for Engagement, Communication and Operations, made up of employees from across the organization.

“The ECO Committee meets quarterly where we discuss our organizational goals. We are phasing out plastic products and are now using straws that dissolve in ocean water and become fish food. We always challenge ourselves to look into every area of our business to make sure you’re ahead of the curve,” said Vossschulte.

Those goals, he says, have attracted interest from fans and even the National Football League.

“We recognize and appreciate what our team means to Eagles fans in Philadelphia and around the world,” Vossschulte said. “We want them to be proud of who we are, both on and off the pitch. That comes with a lot of responsibilities and we take it seriously.”

“Through our continued sustainability efforts, we hope to inspire as many people as possible so that the planet is left in good hands for the next generation.”

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