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Earth Day at 40: MLB Pitches In

Marking the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Major League Baseball has become to first professional sports league to put its stadium operations under a green microspcope.

MLB is collaborating with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to develop a comprehensive software system to collect and analyze stadium operations data. The analysis of operations at 30 baseball stadiums marks the first time a professional sports league will implement a software program throughout the league to collect data for the purpose of documenting environmental practices and for sharing information about environmental best practices at stadiums.

Initially, four categories of environmental data will be collected and calculated:

– Energy use, including total energy used, sources of energy, and use of renewable energy

– Waste generation, including total waste generated, materials diverted for recycling and composting, and cost of disposal

– Water use, including amount of water used, water conserved, and cost of water use,

– Paper procurement, including the amount of recycled paper used in club offices, in stadium restrooms and for yearbooks, game-day programs and media guides

“Major League Baseball has responsibilities to our fans and society at large that go beyond the playing field,” said Baseball Commissioner, Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Our Clubs have made a commitment to sustainability and are leaders in their communities raising awareness and educating fans not just on Earth Day, but everyday about environmental stewardship.”

MLB Clubs have worked with the NRDC during the past few years to develop recycling programs, reduce their energy use, purchase renewable energy and educate fans about what they can do to reduce their impact on the planet.

“The commitment by our national pastime to enhance its ecological profile in a meaningful and public way marks a watershed in the history of the environmental movement,” said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council.

“No other sporting institution has influenced American culture as much as baseball and MLB is once again putting that influence to very good use. Baseball is a game of statistics and the League’s commitment to systematically document and measure environmental practices of all Clubs at all stadiums underscores the leadership and commitment of MLB to make environmental progress. All professional leagues should follow this important example.”

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