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07/06/2011 3:58 PM ET
MLB, D-Backs and NRDC Incorporate Environmental Initiatives Throughout 2011 MLB All-Star Week
All-Star Activities Support Year-Round Sustainability Program by D-backs
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As part of Major League Baseball's ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, MLB is again partnering with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to help ensure that 2011 All-Star Week incorporates environmentally intelligent features. This will be the fourth All-Star Week that MLB and NRDC have worked together to implement measures, both in-stadium and in supporting events.

At Chase Field, in-stadium messaging will promote ways fans can be more environmentally conscious. To encourage fans to recycle, "All-Star Green Teams" presented by Pepsi will circulate throughout the stadium during all ballpark events to collect recyclables from fans. In addition, 100 new recycling bins will be installed at the ballpark for All-Star Week and will remain at Chase Field permanently. Food waste and food-soiled paper from the stadium will be turned into compost, which can be used as fertilizer for soil and promote plant growth to help increase land and air quality. This is the first time a composting program has been implemented at an MLB All-Star Week and it is estimated that 66 tons of material will be diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting efforts.

To help reduce All-Star Week's environmental footprint, the 2011 All-Star Game, Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby, Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game and XM All-Star Futures Game will be offset with "Green-e Certified" renewable energy. MLB All-Star FanFest, the largest baseball fan event in the world, will be held at the LEED Silver Certified Phoenix Convention Center and will also be offset with "Green-e Certified" renewable energy. MLB All-Star FanFest volunteers are also receiving complimentary METRO light rail passes to encourage the use of public transportation.

MLB has also prioritized environmental attributes when selecting materials ranging from tickets and programs to building supplies at various community refurbishment events. MLB and the D-backs will rehabilitate the facilities of the Arizona State Veteran Home with the support of Bank of America. One element of the project includes constructing a new greenhouse on site to be used by the facility's culinary staff, as well as horticultural clubs to demonstrate and teach about sustainable food practices. With the assistance of Magical Builders, MLB and the D-backs will also incorporate eco-friendly products and elements in the renovation of a Phoenix Boys & Girls Club including solar hot water heaters and low flow plumbing fixtures.

The red carpet used in the All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet is manufactured with 100% post-industrial recycled nylon yarn. Chevrolet will also provide several E-85 capable vehicles for the Red Carpet Show.

In addition to the initiatives led by Major League Baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks make a commitment throughout the season to using their resources in a responsible and sustainable manner through their D-backs Playing for the Planet initiative.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Spring Training home of the D-backs and Colorado Rockies, will host the Jr. RBI Classic and MasterCard presents MLB All-Star Game Fantasy Camp during All-Star Week. The facility, which opened in February 2011, recently received LEED Gold Certification for New Construction, and is the first LEED Gold-certified sports venue of its kind in the United States. Sustainable project elements include siting the stadium to provide maximum shade, using native vegetation, minimizing stormwater runoff, maximizing the amount of fresh air brought in through its HVAC systems and using grass-covered parking lots, rather than asphalt, that can double as playing fields for the community when not in use.

Chase Field has implemented many energy efficient initiatives, and a well-developed recycling program has been in place for several years. Recent renovations have included replacing less-efficient electronic components with new Energy Star certified products and LED equipment. Earlier this season, the D-backs built a solar shade structure that covers more than 17,000 square feet of the Chase Field plaza. The solar shade structure provides shade over the ballpark's heaviest used entrances while also generating solar power.

During the 2010-2011 off-season, the ballpark roof was recoated with an Energy Star certified material which improves the ballpark roof's reflectivity rating and thermal emittance rating, and reduces the heat island effect of downtown Phoenix.

In each of the past three seasons, the team has held a home series to promote energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Throughout the series, fans are provided with suggestions on increasing energy efficiency and other tips for more sustainable living. In addition, the D-backs purchase "Green-e Certified" energy for the entire series that is a mixture of wind, solar and other renewable resources.

Additional environmentally better practices implemented by the D-backs throughout their operations include:

  • Communications: Media guides are available electronically; D-backs Insider magazine is printed with soy ink on recycled content paper; most marketing collateral printed on FSC certified products
  • Human Resources: Employees are encouraged to commute using alternative transportation; reusable beverage containers are provided to employees for use in the office; game day event staff shirts are each made from 16 recycled bottles
  • Concessions: Grease is recycled into biodiesel fuel; vendors distribute bio-based and compostable food service items; reusable "loyalty cup" available to season ticket holders
  • Operations: Recycling containers have been placed throughout the concourse, administrative office and press box; LED equipment has been installed throughout ballpark, including the scoreboard display; waterless urinals and water-saving faucets installed on the Suite Level
  • In addition, the City of Phoenix has collaborated on an innovative cooling system at the 3rd Street/Washington METRO light rail station. Chilled water used in the downtown cooling system is pumped to coils located in the upper section of the light rail station where fans blow air over the coils to distribute cold air. Solar energy is used to power the fans that circulate the cold air. The system will launch this July in time for All-Star Week and operate May through September annually.

    Major League Baseball began an alliance with the NRDC (www.nrdc.org) in 2006 to identify and promote better environmental practices. Since 2008, MLB has incorporated environmentally intelligent features in All-Star Week activities as well as the World Series. This relationship also led to the creation of the Team Greening Program featuring NRDC Team Greening Advisors for Major League Baseball, web-based software tools tailored to each MLB Club featuring advice and resources for every aspect of a Club's operations. This unprecedented program offers specific local advice concerning such topics as energy use, purchasing, concession operations, water use, recycling and transportation. In 2010, MLB developed software to collect and analyze stadium operations data — the first time a professional sports league has implemented a software program throughout its league to collect data for the purpose of documenting environmental practices and for sharing information about environmental best practices at stadiums. For more information about MLB environmental initiatives, visit www.mlb.com/green.

    About the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

    The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 12th in Phoenix and will feature the best of the American League taking on the top players of the National League. Building up to the excitement of the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball will conduct a wide variety of special events and charitable activities for fans both inside and outside of Chase Field. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on Sunday, July 10 featuring the XM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 11 featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. Outside of the ballpark, fans will have an opportunity to experience All-Star Summer through a variety of special events including MLB All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free parade of All-Stars through the streets of Phoenix, which will be broadcast on MLB Network. The Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally on FOX, broadcast on ESPN Radio and will be shown around the world by Major League Baseball International. For more information about 2011 All-Star Summer, visit www.AllStarGame.com.

    About the Natural Resources Defense Council

    The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org.

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