Solar panels and recycling bins are becoming as common as hot dog vendors for professional sports teams and their venues, according to a report released last week by my colleagues at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance. The process of putting the industry’s operations on a more sustainable course has been ongoing for some time, and it is important: not only is the business of big-time sports highly visible in our culture, but it also can use tremendous environmental resources and generate significant emissions (think lighting at night games, air conditioning in domed stadiums, high-volume traffic getting to and fro). When teams, leagues, and stadiums make significant progress in improving their performance, they deserve our applause.
The example that stadiums offer is telling: If you combine public financing with strict terms about planning and environmental standards you may very well get an incredibly green development.
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