Sustainability Initiatives at Yankee Stadium
Listed below are some of the ecologically intelligent measures being taken at Yankee Stadium to help promote a sustainable environment.
On April 3, 2019, the New York Yankees became the first major North American sports team to sign on to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, the aim of which is to bring greenhouse emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement and inspire others to take ambitious climate action.
"The New York Yankees are proud to support the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework," said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. "For many years the Yankees have been implementing the type of climate action now enshrined in the Sports for Climate Action principles, and with this pledge the Yankees commit to continue to work collaboratively with our sponsors, fans and other relevant stakeholders to implement the UN's climate action agenda in sports."
The team joins numerous prominent international organizations committed to the Framework, including the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, the French Tennis Federation-Roland Garros, Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, Rugby League World Cup 2021, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, UEFA, World Surf League, Formula E, and others.
For more information, please visit https://unfccc.int/news/new-york-yankees-become-first-major-north-american-team-to-join-un-sports-for-climate-action
Prior to the 2016 Major League Baseball season, the Yankees installed the newest, most efficient lighting in the world, known as light-emitting diodes (LED). At the time we installed LED field lighting, Yankee Stadium became only the second MLB stadium to use the most state-of-the-art energy-efficient lighting system available. The LED lights used at Yankee Stadium are 40% more efficient and 50% brighter than the previous field lighting used at the Stadium, which were also the most efficient lights available for use at the time. Increased Color Temperature of the light produced results in higher contrast, improving player reaction time, alertness and visual acuity. Improved Color Rendering provides the truest colors the human eye can see. Reduced Flicker Rate means the lighting can now support UHD Ultra Slow Motion filming. Improved optical design with twice the aiming points reduces glare and light pollution, and the energy saved from the new field lighting is enough to power about 45 homes every day.
The Great Hall at Yankee Stadium, through which the majority of guests arrive, is the largest open air public entry at any sports venue in the world, a 31,000 square-foot inspirational space spanning from Gate 4 to Gate 6. By building this area with massive open-air archways that allow for natural cooling and ventilation, the space requires no air conditioning. Through the use of natural air-cooling, the energy savings per game is approximately the same as 125 New York City apartments shutting off their air-conditioning on a hot summer day. The Stadium's interior is controlled by automation technologies designed to identify and eliminate wasted or inefficient energy use. The Stadium's high tech energy management program ensures that energy use is reduced and the efficiency of all equipment used is optimized. The diverse systems used to operate Yankee Stadium are carefully calibrated to specific usage patterns, reducing the power consumption of lighting and ventilation systems when they're not needed.
Even the most efficient operations engender unavoidable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Stadium energy use, team and employee travel, motors that require fossil fuel use, non-recyclable waste generation, and occasional leaks of refrigerants are all examples of GHG impacts that the Yankees carefully measure and offset through a collaboration with The South Pole Group. The high quality, third party verified GHG offsets that the Yankees invests in are carefully chosen to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, benefitting communities in need in Africa by promoting new employment opportunities, improving health and safety, and protecting biodiversity. As a result, the Yankees are leading the way towards a low-carbon, more sustainable future.
Yankee Stadium benefits from one of the greatest mass transit systems of any city in the world. Located within close proximity of the subway, Metro-North, buses and other mass transportation systems, visitors to Yankee Stadium have better access to mass transit than at any other stadium in Major League Baseball. Yankee Stadium owns no public parking garages, and guests and employees are encouraged to use public transportation in order to reduce the number of cars on the road and their GHG emissions.
The Yankees are committed to achieving zero waste and promoting a circular economy based on composting, recycling, and the recovery and use of waste oil. Compostable cutlery and food-service packaging, trays, boxes, plates and cups, are used instead of non-compostable petroleum-based plastics. Food waste is composted and not landfilled, and cardboard, glass, metal, plastics and paper are recycled. Through the overall efforts of fans and Stadium staff, approximately 85 percent of the Stadium's total trash is diverted away from landfills, making Yankee Stadium one of the most successful recycling venues in all of sports. The use of trash compactors for the small percentage of non-recovered waste at Yankee Stadium improves air quality by reducing the number of trash packer trucks needed. The trucks that are required use Ultra Low Sulfur diesel which produces fewer emissions into the air, and these emissions are offset by the Yankees.
During the course of a typical season, more than 20,000 gallons of cooking oil from the Stadium are recovered and recycled. This oil is used to produce more than 18,600 gallons of biodiesel fuel which, when used in vehicles, results in a carbon reduction of more than 30,000 pounds-the equivalent of removing approximately 27 cars from the road for a year.
Yankee Stadium is a responsible steward when it comes protecting New York City's precious and irreplaceable water system. Through careful monitoring and high efficiency plumbing fixtures, Yankee Stadium saves more than 3 million gallons of water each year, a reduction of 22 percent from water use prior to 2009.
Yankee Stadium uses high-performance filters and a regular replacement program to ensure particle removal effectiveness of MERV 13 or greater, for better air quality and energy efficiency in our HVAC system.
The structural steel used in the construction of Yankee Stadium was fabricated from recycled material, and the concrete forms were reusable. Used recycled concrete aggregate was incorporated into the concrete design mix. All construction vehicles and equipment were required to use low-sulfur fuel. During construction, 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills.
On Jan. 29, 2019, the New York Yankees announced the creation of an environmental science advisor position, appointing recognized industry leader Dr. Allen Hershkowitz to the new role, the first of its kind in professional sports. The appointment represents a defining moment in the team's decades-long commitment to sustainability, and serves to deepen an existing dedication to environmentally-friendly practices and community-wide awareness. Recognized as one of the most environmentally intelligent and healthiest sports venues in the world, with Hershkowitz as Environmental Science Advisor, the Yankees will look to further advance their efforts and invest in the development of best practices that can be adopted by organizations across the sport sector. Specifically, Hershkowitz will seek to guide a number of new and existing environmental initiatives for the Yankees and at Yankee Stadium, with a primary focus on the areas of energy use, waste management, water conservation, and food services.
At the 13th Annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards on Nov. 15, 2016, the N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation recognized the Yankees among eight New York-based organizations for their state-of-the-art programs and commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility and economic viability.
"DEC is proud to present Environmental Excellence Awards to these eight businesses and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in adopting innovative solutions to protect our environment and enhance our economy," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "These projects set a high bar for others to follow in addressing critical environmental and public health issues such as increasing energy efficiency, cleaning up our waters, keeping materials out of landfills, and making our healthcare sector more sustainable."
On June 4, 2015, with former MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, in attendance, the Yankees were the recipient of the 2015 Environmental Leadership Award, presented by the Green Sports Alliance. The award recognizes a sports team and venue that best exemplifies the practices of promoting a sustainable environment. Green Sports Alliance members represent nearly 300 sports teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues and 14 countries across the world. Yankees President Randy Levine (third from L) and V.P. of Stadium Operations Doug Behar (second from R) accepted the award on behalf of the organization.