The Baltimore Ravens, in partnership with the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA), have earned a LEED-certified "Gold" designation for M&T Bank Stadium from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). (LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED strives to deliver energy- and water-efficient, healthy, environmentally-friendly, cost-saving buildings, homes and communities.)
M&T Bank Stadium becomes the first existing outdoor professional sports facility in the United States – including all NFL and Major League Baseball stadiums – to receive USGBC's Gold rating. A LEED certification is recognized across the globe as the premier mark of achievement in green building.
"I'm pleased to celebrate the LEED-certified Gold designation with our World Champions," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Working together, we're meeting some of the most ambitious energy reduction goals in the nation, fostering innovation and job creation that will lead to a better, more sustainable future for our children."
"In conjunction with and support from the Maryland Stadium Authority, the Ravens wanted to step forward as a leader in the stadium industry by pushing the envelope with efficiency and sustainability," Ravens president Dick Cass said. "Our staff, headed by Roy Sommerhof [Ravens vice president of stadium operations], used creative strategies that produced significant energy and maintenance efficiencies and cost savings.
"One of the highlights of this effort was the cooperation we received from the MSA staff, its workers, our partners and our vendors while implementing these green and sustainability programs," Cass added.
Some of the major sustainability projects at M&T Bank Stadium highlighted by LEED include:
- 43% water reduction with the installation of over 400 waterless urinals
- 27% above the national average in energy efficiency
- Offset 123,070 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
- Electricity at the stadium has been reduced from 15,952,984 kilowatt hours in 2005 to 10,881,579 in 2012, a savings of 5,071,405 kilowatt hours. (That savings can heat about 440 homes for a year.)
- 71% of regularly occupied spaces have access to outdoor views
"One of the benefits of these efforts and this recognition is that the Ravens and the MSA set a standard for existing stadiums, allowing us to help educate the public about the importance of retrofitting existing structures to help the environment," Sommerhof explained.
Maryland Stadium Authority chairman John Morton III noted: "Achieving LEED status does more than showcase our commitment to the environment. This standard of excellence enhances the value of our stadium. For many sports and entertainment entities, sustainability is a key factor in selecting venues. This designation improves our chances to attract these events."
"We congratulate the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Baltimore Ravens on the significant accomplishment of becoming the first LEED Gold certified football stadium in the country," said Rick Fedrizzi, president/CEO and founding chair of USGBC. "Under Governor O'Malley's leadership, the state of Maryland has and continues to be a leader in sustainable building, with this certification being an impressive example. The Maryland Stadium Authority and Ravens are pushing forward an important mission toward healthier, energy-saving stadiums that we hope to see replicated throughout the world."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell offered his thoughts on the Ravens' involvement: "The Ravens attempt to set a standard in everything they do, both on and off the field. Working hard to stay green and sustainable at M&T Bank Stadium is another example of the Ravens doing the right thing in their community at a consistently high level."
Among the efforts at M&T Bank Stadium that helped earn the Gold recognition from LEED are:
- The stadium recycles 31% of its regular waste and is working to increase this percentage.
- The stadium saves over 3 million gallons of water per year with waterless urinals and water-efficient restroom fixtures throughout the building.
- All purchases for M&T Bank Stadium follow the Sustainable Purchasing Policy to include recycled, renewable and Energy Star-labeled products for the building.
- The stadium implements a "Green Cleaning" program that improves air quality and reduces waste with green cleaning products and materials.
- Both the Ravens and Maryland Stadium Authority encourage the use of public and alternative transportation to stadium events. 10% of Ravens fans use the MTA Light Rail service to travel to and from games. Another 2% use buses through the "Ravens Ride" program.
- 38% of M&T Bank Stadium staff use alternative transportation to work, contributing to the stadium's carbon footprint reduction of 123,070 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
- The stadium's efficient irrigation system and adaptive vegetation reduces 30% of its potable water for outside irrigation.
- Environmentally friendly operations and maintenance programs are used in all pest, landscape and hardscape management programs for the stadium.
Along with the LEED designation, the USGBC presents a plaque saluting this honor. The plaque will be placed prominently at M&T Bank Stadium.