The Green Sports Alliance (GSA) recognizes Friday, Oct. 6, as Green Sports Day in an effort to bring awareness and action to sustainability efforts in the global sports community.
As a global hospitality and entertainment partner at major sports venues around the globe, sustainability is a top priority for Delaware North. When serving crowds of up to 100,000 fans, Delaware North’s proprietary GreenPath® platform enables environmental stewardship and positive contributions where we live and work.
“We are constantly working to make Delaware North’s Sportservice operations more sustainable, and we collaborate with industry stakeholders to find innovative solutions for reducing our environmental footprint,” said Debbie Friedel, Delaware North’s director of sustainability. “As a member of the GSA, we recognize Green Sports Day to bring attention to the importance of sustainability and celebrate our positive impact and progress in areas such as volunteerism, waste reduction, energy and emissions, supply chain and more.”
Notable examples include:
Sustainable sourcing at Climate Pledge Arena
Delaware North helped welcome the nearly 700 people in attendance at the June 2023 Green Sports Alliance Summit at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, where the company has managed the food and beverage (F&B) program since the venue opened in 2021. Delaware North is an integral member of the arena’s “Climate Collective” – an innovative and sustainable program that sources 75% of F&B products from purveyors and producers within a 300-mile radius. Delaware North’s culinary team at Climate Pledge Arena also serves numerous vegan and vegetarian options and was the first professional sports venue to partner with Impossible Foods.
Delaware North’s waste management efforts at Climate Pledge Arena are maintained through robust team member and guest education and engagement, operating at a zero-waste threshold (95+%). Climate Pledge has a commitment to eliminate single-use plastics, with a goal to be 100% free by 2024. Delaware North also uses all electric kitchen equipment to support the venue’s goal of using zero fossil fuels.
Committing to a greener Garden
Delaware North-owned-and-operated TD Garden in Boston has a comprehensive waste management program that is maintained through reducing single-use plastics, eliminating Styrofoam and straws (unless requested), sourcing biodegradable and compostable materials and encouraging the use of reusable mugs and cups.
TD Garden has collaborated with Eversource to implement various energy efficiency projects, such as upgrading thousands of lights to LEDs and improving the climate control system with new flexible controls for fans and heat pumps. These projects save nearly 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, avoiding 4,705 tons of carbon emissions – the equivalent of taking approximately 1,064 cars off the road.
Surpassing zero-waste goals at UBS Arena
Delaware North has been the hospitality partner at the LEED-certified UBS Arena in Belmont Park, N.Y., since it opened in November 2021. Delaware North oversees a local F&B program in which 75% of ingredients are sourced within a 300-mile radius of the arena. Even before UBS Arena opened, Delaware North forged supplier partnerships to ensure all drinkware, utensils and food vessels used at the venue are either compostable or recyclable. Delaware North has donated about 6,000 pounds of surplus food to local nonprofit organizations and partners with Rock and Wrap It Up.
In 2023, UBS Arena converted its trash room into a zero-waste room, where Delaware North supports the venue’s trash, recyclables and compostable materials to support its robust waste diversion efforts and help the arena achieve net-zero waste (98.89%) in June 2023. Delaware North also works with FiltaFry to repurpose cooking oil – saving over 122,820 pounds since the partnership’s inception.
MetLife Stadium doubles down on GreenPath efforts
As one of the largest stadiums in the NFL, Delaware North’s team at MetLife Stadium supports the venue’s aggressive onsite sustainability strategy. These efforts have yielded monumental results, including saving 897,868 hours of electricity, 627 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and conserving 1,139,785 gallons of water.
Delaware North’s GreenPath team is working toward a 50% emissions reduction by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2040. The company donates 1,600 pounds of unopened food to local nonprofit organizations and Rock and Wrap It Up in an average month. In June, Delaware North provided hospitality services for a stadiumwide employee event to collect 3,991 pounds of nonperishable food to donate to a local food bank.
A bright future at Allianz Field
Since opening in 2019, Allianz Field – home of Minnesota United Football Club – has embodied eco-friendliness through its efforts to reduce environmental impact. Delaware North team members are trained to sort all compostables, recyclables and trash to support the facility’s goal to become zero-waste by the end of 2023.
Allianz Field also is on track to eliminate single-use plastic and source only compostable materials by 2025 and was awarded the 2023 Waste Player Award from the Green Sports Alliance for its commitment to sustainability. Delaware North, which manages food and beverage services at the venue, hosts annual recycling events and cleanups in the community and donated nearly 3,740 pounds of surplus food.
Home runs in sustainable practices at Target Field and Guaranteed Rate Field
As the food and beverage partner of the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, Delaware North shares the organization’s vision for environmental action, debuting a new kitchen production composting program in the 2023 baseball season to divert tens of thousands of pounds of food waste with help from Collective Resource Compost (CRC). Based in Evanston, Ill., CRC is a women-owned compost and food scrap service that collects food waste and other compostable products to take to commercial composting sites.
Delaware North also contributes to a strong sustainability program at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. Delaware North team members contribute to an aggressive waste diversion program, helping to divert 12,127 tons of waste from landfills over eight years, including organic, recyclables and trash converted to energy. Through its partnership with Rock and Wrap It Up, Delaware North has donated about 63 tons of surplus food to local charities and has a longstanding partnership with Eco-Products for its compostable food and beverage containers and utensils.