MetLife Stadium is making history this year as host of Super Bowl XLVII: the sporting complex will be the first ‘green dining’ stadium in history. It has gone through a number of strict stipulations set out by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) in order to be certified.
“The degree to which the stadium has taken on the green certification process is outstanding,” Michael Oshman, CEO of the GRA, told us, as the stadium has more than 200 on-site eateries that feed up to 100,000 people per game.
“I know it took a real team effort – lots of work and lots of cooperation – to get this done in time for Super Bowl XLVIII,” Jack Groh, Director of the NFL Environmental Program, said in a press release. “Being a Certified Green Restaurant Stadium tells the fans that this stadium and its food service partners are committed to doing things in a way that is efficient and sustainable.”
The minimum requirements for receiving this certification included going Styrofoam-free, having a full recycling program, reaching 100 ‘GreenPoint’s total and reaching 10 GreenPoints each in energy, water, waste, chemicals, food, and packaging. “They implemented 61 Steps across all categories above, plus Green Building; earning a total of 132 GreenPoints,” Oshman told us. “One exciting highlight is shifting their grease to 100% biodiesel.”
The 200-plus food service stations within the stadium each received a two-star certification which takes into account the food, energy, water, waste, disposables, chemical and pollution reduction and furnishing and building materials to make sure they all comply with the GRA’s standards.
Talks began back in 2013 between MetLife and the GRA to implement the necessary requirements to make the stadium green in time for the Super Bowl. What’s interesting, noted Oshman, is that this large-scale operation took the necessary steps to achieve certification in a shorter time than many mom and pop restaurants and food services companies. “From the very beginning, our owners committed to build and operate one of the most environmentally responsible stadiums in the National Football League,” Brad Mayne, MetLife Stadium President and CEO, added in the release.
While most fans on game day might not notice the changes in the lighting, recycling or food, they might take notice that the stadium has in fact gotten rid of all its Styrofoam. “Most changes at any Certified Green Restaurant, large or small, are invisible to the consumer,” he added.
As for what’s next, the GRA is currently working with another unnamed stadium and in discussions with a couple more to go through the green certification process. Perhaps the 2015 Super Bowl will be just as green as this one.