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04/10/2008 10:33 AM ET
Red Sox to implement new environmentally-sustainable practices at Fenway Park
Poland Spring Green Team, solar panels, Big Belly high volume trash compactors highlight 2008 initiatives
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BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox are carrying out a series of initiatives during the 2008 season that reflect the team's commitment to exploring the use of environmentally sustainable habits and technologies. The Red Sox, in partnership with internationally-renowned environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are actively engaging sponsors, local groups and the fans of Red Sox Nation to help execute a five-year plan to bring "green" practices to Fenway Park. The plan, which was announced last September, will culminate in 2012 in time for the 100th birthday celebration of "America's Most Beloved Ballpark".

"As stewards of such a storied venue we recognize our unique position and ability to raise public consciousness about important issues. Our decision to enhance the ballpark's environmental attributes is one born out of a sense of personal responsibility and professional duty," said Tom Werner, Boston Red Sox Chairman. "For us, this announcement marks some of the first steps in an ongoing process to make America's most beloved and oldest ballpark also one of America's greenest."

Solar Power
One of the most significant "green" projects completed this year will be the adoption of solar power at Fenway.

This spring the Red Sox will become the first professional sports team in the Boston area to install solar panels. Scheduled to be operational by mid-May, the solar thermal panels will be installed on the roof behind home plate to help heat water used throughout the facility. The panels will replace 37% of the gas traditionally used for the process, saving both energy and expense, and avoid 18 tons of CO2 emissions each year. The Red Sox have worked on this initiative with National Grid and Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

Solar use will be more evident to fans with 10 Big Belly trash compactors placed around the perimeter of the ballpark. Installed on March 31, the large green vessels contain solar-powered compactors and can collect four times as much refuse as the old trash barrels that filled up quickly on game days. The new containers replace six existing trash cans and the Red Sox purchased an additional four cans for four new locations around the ballpark.

The Poland Spring Green Team
On Opening Day fans were introduced to the Poland Spring Green Team, a corps of 30-50 volunteers per game who will spread throughout the seating bowl during inning breaks to gather plastic bottles and educate fans on recycling. The Green Team is the first of its kind in professional sports and is comprised primarily of local college students. All team members wear specially-designed hats and t-shirts featuring the new Red Sox recycling logo.

"Poland Spring is proud to work alongside the Boston Red Sox to help create a cleaner Fenway Park through the implementation of the Poland Spring Green Team," said Andrew Schopps, Senior Presence Marketing Manager for Poland Spring. "We will continue to work with the Red Sox to support this great initiative and find additional ways to help reduce environmental impact for future events."

NRDC and Waste Management, a Red Sox sponsor, are also part of the Green Team "team" and will be offering their expertise in recycling efforts throughout the season. Green Team members will distribute NRDC literature to fans that will provide tips on living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle when it comes to energy use, paper consumption and recycling methods and other topics. The Green Team will also help fans locate the new Poland Spring/Waste Management recycling bins throughout the ballpark. Each of the 75 bins, which hold up to 55 gallons of recyclables, feature the Poland Spring Green Team and Waste Management logos.

"By taking on the hard work needed to green one of America's most historic landmarks, the World Champion Boston Red Sox are demonstrating smart ecological leadership that will resonate far beyond the baseball diamond," said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist with NRDC. "This greening initiative will have a beneficial and lasting impact on our Earth, and establish Fenway Park as a powerful and positive symbol of environmental responsibility."

On the Field
Environmental practices have extended to the upkeep of Fenway Park's hallowed grounds with the adoption of a number of environmentally-sustainable practices. Ongoing maintenance features irrigation timing and diagnostic controls are set to minimize water and fertilizer use. The fundamental task of cutting the grass has "gone green" with mowers powered by biodiesel fuel, which is non-petroleum based and clean burning, and grass clippings are left to naturally decompose to help reduce the amount of fertilizer and water needed to sustain healthy turf. This year the grounds crew will also use two electric-powered utility carts, which are both noise and pollution-free.

Energy efficient signage and efforts within the Red Sox Front Office
Inside Fenway Park, the new Coca-Cola sign atop the Coca-Cola Corner features 1059 energy efficient LED lights. These bulbs use 80% less power and last years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

The Red Sox have also taken steps to practice environmentally sustainable practices within the front office. This includes recycling plastic bottles and paper and the printing of the Club's Media Guides, pocket schedules, the Red Sox Magazine and the Red Sox Yearbook on recycled paper this year.

Efforts by ARAMARK at Fenway Park
Another long-time Red Sox partner, ARAMARK, is also doing its part to bring environmentally-sustainable practices to Fenway Park. All beverage and food containers used at the ballpark will be made from recyclable materials and all restaurant grease will be recycled by a certified vendor. It has also committed to using more items that are locally grown, which require less shipping and therefore use less energy and produce less pollution. Local fare will include produce and seafood in the premium restaurants and select concession stands. The ARAMARK Facility services department will utilize "Green Certified" chemicals in cleaning processes and compostable trash bags will be used in pick-ups. In a continuation of past practice, all non-spoiled corrugated cardboard will also be baled for recycling.

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