When the New York Jets and New York Giants kickoff their 2011 seasons, they'll be playing in one of the greenest venues in sports thanks to a partnership signed last year with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA and MetLife Stadium Company, the stadium's principal owner, signed a memorandum of understanding that outlined their plans to incorporate environmentally-friendly materials and practices into MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou said last year that, "MetLife Stadium will be one of the greenest stadiums in American professional sports. This ambitious, comprehensive plan set forth by the two team ownership groups is a blueprint for new sports venues everywhere," and he was right.
- New Industry Precedent for Green Initiatives
- Wetlands and Wildlife Protection
- Construction Green Practices
- Water Conservation
- Energy Management
- Recycling, Composting and Solid Waste Programs
- Fan and Community Initiatives
- VII. Misc. - Office Management and Administration
Since 2009, MetLife Stadium has provided four updates to the EPA documenting its green initiatives. The EPA analyzed the information and generated an environmental footprint for the organization. The Stadium's actions have resulted in the reduction of energy, water and solid waste production across its entire operations, including the use of aggressive recycling programs, low flow faucets, toilets and urinals in rest rooms, food composting, and mass transit alternatives.
Most notable among the findings, due to its collective, widespread efforts, the Stadium reduced its carbon footprint by 268,828 MTCO2e (Metric Ton Carbon Dioxide Equivalent), the largest carbon footprint reduction to date.
The reduction of 268,828 MTCO2e is equivalent to any one of the following:
- Annual greenhouse gas emissions from 52,712 vehicles
- Carbon dioxide emission from 30,137,758 gallons of gasoline
- Carbon dioxide emission from 625,183 barrels of oil consumed
- Carbon dioxide emission from the energy use of 22,840 homes for one year
- Carbon dioxide emissions from 11,201,200 propane tanks used for home barbeques
- Carbon dioxide emission from gasoline carried by 3,546 tanker trucks
- Carbon dioxide emission from burning 1,464 railcars worth of coal (more than 22 miles long)
MetLife Stadium does not occupy any undeveloped lands or "green fields", nor does it have an impact on environmentally sensitive areas or wildlife habitat in the Meadowlands area.
Porous pavement: Crushed granite stone material was used in lieu of plantings or concrete medians on site, allowing rain water to recharge groundwater and thereby reducing storm water flow into the sensitive surrounding environmental area. 188,000 square feet of decomposed granite, equal to 4.5 acres or 4 football fields, were used in medians to reduce watering needs, saving approximately 2 million gallons of water per year.
Clean Fuels and Lower Emissions
With the use of low sulfur diesel fuel and diesel particulate filters on all construction equipment, there was a 13% particulate materials reduction with the use of ultra low sulfur fuels; an additional 80-90% particulate materials reduction as a result of the use of diesel particulate filters, and an additional 40-60% reduction in particulate materials due to use of equipment with diesel oxidation catalysts.
Construction Recycling Program
Overall, we have diverted 2,314 tons of material since the beginning of construction in May 2007 to December 2008, recycling 82% of the total waste generated during construction operations. Approximately 200 tons of asphalt millings had been reused onsite for utility work. 1800 tons of concrete had been reused onsite during construction operations.
The 210,000 cubic yard hole created by the demolition of the old Giants Stadium was filled with recycled and salvaged demolition materials and onsite historic fill. Approximately 100,000 tons of concrete and 20,000 tons of steel were diverted from offsite landfills as a result. Our goal is to have little or no impact on NJ landfills
Our construction office recycling protocols and sound environmental management efforts for 2008 had resulted in 41,645 pounds of paper recycled, 145,758 gallons of water saved, 85,372 KW hours of electricity saved, and 9,578 gallons of oil saved.
Construction Materials Reuse Program
- 22,000 tons of scrap had been utilized in the manufacturing of the structural steel for the New Stadium.
- 2280 tons of scrap had been utilized in the manufacturing of the rebar installed for the New Stadium.
- All 8000+ piles for the New Stadium were manufactured from post industrial steel scrap or salvage from unused piles from the petrochemical industry (16,000 tons).
- Stadium general admission seating is made of 20% post consumer plastics and 80% iron. Stadium general admission seating utilizes 560 tons of scrap iron and 51 tons of scrap plastic.
- Club and suite seats are made with the goal of 30% post consumer plastics and 40% iron.
- 10% of the exterior wall fins or roughly 40 tons contain recycled aluminum.
"Buy Local" Program and Green Products/Materials
We had purchased $680 million in construction materials from the local marketplace for the new stadium.
- 83% of our contractors are from New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania with over 70% from New Jersey. 100% of the workforce is local.
- Over half of all interior finish products are "green" certified (e.g., Greenguard, Green Label, Forest Council). All carpet and carpet tile products, interior paints, coatings, ceiling tiles, composite wood and all ceramic tile adhesives use of low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) or have recycled content. Post consumer recycled products (benches) TBD in plaza areas.
- Fly ash: 25% of the total cubic yards of concrete for the overall project were made of coal combustion products (e.g., fly ash). The fly ash product was used for 100% of the site work, equal to over 17,200 cubic yards of concrete and was put in place for all plazas, curbs, light pole foundations, etc.
The New Stadium is committed to reducing water demand by an estimated 11,000,000 gallons per year or a 25% reduction in the average annual water demand compared to the old stadium. The major water conservation design features that contribute to an overall reduction in water demand were:
- Selection of synthetic turf as opposed to natural grass for New Stadium playing field - savings of 3,500,000 gallons of water per year compared to natural grass.
- Use of waterless urinals throughout the men's restrooms in New Stadium - savings of 2,700,000 gallons of water per year.
- Use of native planting species, which are low water plantings and high-efficiency irrigation systems with a 95% efficiency rate compared to conventional irrigation systems that operate at an efficiency rate of 60%, resulting in the goal of saving 700,000 gallons of water per year.
- Low-flush toilets in restrooms - rate of 1.6 gallons per flush compared to 3.5 gallons per flush; low-flow showerheads - rate of 2.5 gallons per minute per head compared to 5.5 gallons per minute for conventional; sensored and metered faucets to reduce water demand and conserve potable water with 0.5 gallons per minute flow restrictors compared to typical metered faucet that uses up to 2 gallons per minute.
The New Stadium is more than twice as large as the old stadium in terms of square footage, but there was a reduction of energy use of roughly 30% as a result of:
- Energy efficient and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Energy-Star compliant concession equipment, heating cooling and ventilation systems, and lighting, which use 25-50% less energy, reduce energy costs without compromising quality of performance, reduce air pollution, provide a significant return on investment, and typically have an extended product life and decreased maintenance.
- Automated lighting control system for all sports lighting, site lighting, interior space lights and security lighting to minimize energy consumption through central systems. Purchase of high efficiency tube and compact fluorescents in all stadium light fixtures.
- Energy efficient Low E coating/glazing of windows. New Stadium glass transmits 56% less destructive UV light, is 51% better as an insulator, and is 24% better at reducing heat gain than in the old stadium, while only sacrificing 3% of the total visible light.
- State of the art stadium lighting - The luminaries specified in the new stadium are 84% efficient and minimize light spill. The new fixtures have a tighter beam spread, oval reflector system, and internal glare cut off skirts, which produces lighting efficiencies and minimizes wasted light to sky. The luminaries at the old stadium were 77% efficient.
- Parking lot luminaries meet "nighttime friendly" criteria. Fixtures have 0% uplight, meet IESNA definition for full cutoff optics and reduce high angle brightness.
- Outdoor transformers will use biodegradable fuels and reusable fluids.
- We have joined with the NJSEA in an RFP process and had selected a vendor who designed, financed, built and maintained alternative energy systems on site related to solar power. We also worked with the NJSEA to purchase power from alternative energy providers via green power procurement programs - particularly wind - and to study other energy saving and power generating ideas.
The new stadium is committed to reduce solid waste production during its operation by 25% through recycling and composting programs. 50 tons of solid waste is produced on average game day in the parking areas and another 20 tons is produced in the stadium.
- Installed recycling bins in the parking lots and in the stadium.
- Separate and bail all corrugated paper products/cardboard on site.
- Recycle or provide for salvage to others - wood pallets.
- Recycling of concessionaire's waste streams by recyclable (cooking oils), compostable (food waste), and non-recyclable.
- Established team store recycling programs as part of vendor selection RFP with these goals.
- Donate or salvaging of materials following events (building supplies, plants, centerpieces, decorations, etc).
- Use of compostable serving items in the concessions, including concession plates, cups, cup holders/carriers, boats, etc.
- All compostable items are sent to local farms or will go directly to NJ certified compost facility in Woodbridge.
We promote the use of mass transit (train and bus) and car pooling/ride sharing for events - the NJ Transit estimated that 10,000 plus fans were to use the new rail system to the Complex on game days and another 2000-3000 fans were to use the public bus system. In total, approximately 4000 cars were to be off the roadways on game day through these alternative transportation options.
We developed comprehensive fan education and participation programs (public service announcements; scoreboard messages; "green" program goals and achievements via web site portal; Green Promotional Events).
We developed green procurement standard specifications for maintenance-related RFPs. We use green products for cleaning purposes (floor wax, carpet shampoo, window cleaning, etc.). We sponsor employee "green" programs (e.g., community tree planting, clothes donation programs, etc.). We purchased Energy Star office equipment, alternative fuel vehicles for onsite use (gators, carts, etc) and installed bike racks.