How Green was this year's Super Bowl?
This year, one of the country's largest waste generating events went “green.” The people behind Super Bowl XLVI are continuing to work on some impressive initiatives to reduce their environmental impact and help the community, according to an NFL press release.
“The NFL Environmental Program, now in its 18th year, develops projects each year to address solid waste, food waste, material reuse, the needs for books and sports equipment for children in need and the overall climate change impact of Super Bowl events,” the press release states.
This year, some of those initiatives included:
15,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy certificates, supplied by Green Mountain Energy, avoiding the release of over 14,000 tons of greenhouse gases
A recycling initiative from PepsiCo, including bins throughout the event and trees planted locally to support forestry projects
Tens of thousands of pounds of food collected from the event with the help of Second Helpings, a food recovery organization
Donating a range of solar power materials to residential areas in conjunction with the non profit organization Rebuilding Together to assist low-income home renovation projects in the area
Further engaging its fans, the NFL also organized the 1st & Green Environmental Challenge, in which participants track carbon and water savings through a website to compete for recognition on stage at the Super Bowl village. That program has saved an upwards of 1.4 million pounds of carbon and over 2.5 million gallons of water thus far.
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TreeHugger's Tom Szaky wrote, "I couldn't help thinking to myself that this is something the NFL probably isn’t doing to gain new viewers. I suspect they’re doing it out of a larger sense of corporate responsibility."
Green Mountain supplied the infographic below:
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly