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Red Sox Recognized for Greening Fenway Park

BOSTON, Massachusetts, April 25, 2008 (ENS) – Historic Fenway Park – home of the World Champion Boston Red Sox – is getting greener. The work to address environmental issues at the 96 year old baseball stadium has earned an “Environmental Merit Award” for excellence from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA.

The award, presented by the EPA to both the Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC, and to the Boston Red Sox, is for a new program that is already showing results in putting environmental considerations at the forefront of logistical decisions about how the organization presents events at the ballpark.

The NRDC has teamed up with Major League Baseball, and is piloting a program with the Red Sox, to help address the environmental issues associated with bringing tens of thousands of fans together at dozens of stadiums nearly every day for six months at a stretch.

NRDC has developed a “Greening Advisor” for major league sports teams to use and apply across the country.

Tapping in to the expertise and advice of NRDC, the Red Sox have started a five-year effort to make Fenway Park one of the greenest destinations in baseball, culminating in 2012, when baseball celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ballpark. “We are not only committed to preserving the history, beauty, and integrity of Fenway Park, but we are also determined to enhance the park’s environmental attributes so it can serve our team, our fans, and our community in the 21st century as well as it did in the 20th century,” said Larry Lucchino, President and CEO of the Red Sox. “We look forward to beginning this process with the help of some key partners.”

The Red Sox organization is setting strong but attainable goals, such as to recycle the majority of plastic drink containers used in the park, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.

The Red Sox have enlisted local university students to make up Green Teams who will be present at every game at Fenway to roam the stands and to enable fans’ to get rid of their used plastic cups and bottles by recycling on the go.

Members of the Red Sox World Series Championship team will record announcements to be played over Fenway Park’s public address and video screens, encouraging fans to care for the environment by recycling at the ball park and at home.

“As America’s largest recycler, Waste Management is proud to join the Boston Red Sox in launching this “Going Green” recycling program,” said Lee Solheid, Waste Management’s area vice president for New England. “This eco-partnership with the Red Sox reflects the commitment of both of our organizations to environmental stewardship and a greener future for our children, families, and fans.”

While many teams are going green when building new stadiums, the Red Sox organization has made the more difficult commitment: to transform a 96 year old historic ballpark into a modern, green, environmentally-friendly place.

Plans include installing solar panels to help heat water and installing energy-efficient LED lighting displays in the park, which use just one-tenth the power of equivalent, traditional lighting displays.

ARAMARK, the concessionaire at Fenway Park, will be cooking up more environmentally-friendly food products, including locally-grown organic produce, at all the ballpark’s concession services. Fans will find sustainable food and agriculture, Earth-friendly procurement, energy conservation and waste management at Fenway’s food service concessions.

“Fenway Park is one of America’s most beloved buildings,” said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the NRDC and coordinator of the organization’s greening initiatives.

“The tangible and important ecological steps that the Red Sox and their team sponsors are advancing will have a lasting impact,” he said. “By committing to the greening of this historic building, the Red Sox organization is showing leadership that reaches far beyond the game of baseball.”

Hershkowitz said, “The Red Sox are demonstrating that every organization can make a difference by joining in our collective efforts to combat global warming, biodiversity loss, and other ecological ills.”

“As a professional sports franchise, we have the opportunity to reach millions,” said Lucchino. “As so many are doing in Red Sox Nation and around the world, we will continue to increase our efforts to protect the environment in a cost-competitive way.”

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