The defending Super Bowl champions are officially playing in the Super Bowl champion of “green” stadiums.
At a press conference on the field Tuesday, Ravens president Dick Cass, Jason Harkey of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and Gov. Martin O’Malley announced that M&T Bank Stadium has become the first professional outdoor football or baseball stadium to receive USGBC’s LEED-certified Gold rating. (LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.)
“Today we honor M&T Bank Stadium for its leadership, its environmental stewardship, and its role in enhancing and transforming the built environment,” Harkey said.
Cass said that given the age of M&T Bank Stadium—currently in its 16th season—and that there are now 17 teams playing in the NFL in newer stadiums, the Ravens and Maryland Stadium Authority’s achievement is particularly noteworthy. “I think it’s remarkable that we are able to achieve gold status,” Cass said.
Cass added that $3 million in investments in the stadium by the Ravens were not only a plus environmentally, but a good business decision. “Before our lease ends here at M&T Bank Stadium, we’ll get that money back.”
Among the M&T Bank Stadium efforts that led to its LEED Gold rating (from a team press release):
- The stadium recycles 31 percent of its regular waste.
- The stadium is 27 percent higher than the national average, in terms of energy efficiency.
- Electricity usage at the stadium has dropped significantly since 2005, saving enough power to heat 440 homes annually.
- 38 percent of M&T Bank Stadium staff use alternative transportation to get to work.
- 10 percent of fans use light rail service to and from games; another 2 percent use buses through the “Ravens Ride” program.
- The stadium utilizes a “green cleaning” program.
- The stadium saves over 3 million gallons of water per year with waterless urinals and water-efficient restroom fixtures.