With Super Bowl XLVIII set for this weekend, those operating MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ are busy preparing for the action. The stadium’s sustainable practices might not be the star of the show, but behind the scenes, the facilities staff will be carrying out a variety of “green” practices.
The latest news on this front for MetLife Stadium is that earlier this month it became the world’s first Certified Green Restaurant® stadium in the world, meeting the environmental standards of the Green Restaurant Association. All of the stadium’s 200+ foodservice operations achieved 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant status, in time to make Super Bowl XLVIII the first to have all Certified Green Restaurants. The Green Restaurant Association worked with Delaware North Companies Sportservice to achieve 61 environmental measures at the stadium.
These measures include: converting all waste kitchen oil to biodiesel fuel; composting all kitchen scraps; donating all leftover food; recycling cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper; using ENERGY STAR equipment; installing waterless urinals, touchless sensor faucets, half gallon faucet aerators; and eliminating polystyrene foam containers.
While operating with the above measures, it’s estimated that food service employees will serve: 21,500 hot dogs; 20,000 sausages; 7,500 individual pizzas; 50,000 hot chocolate/coffee drinks; 12,000 pretzels; more than 30,000 sodas (bottles or fountain drinks); 75,000 chicken tenders; 7,000 cheese steak sandwiches; 20,000 meatballs; and 500 gallons of marinara sauce.
While much attention is focused on this year’s Super Bowl being played outdoors in the Northeast for the first time, another less celebrated fact is that this will be the first Super Bowl where food waste is composted. But this isn’t a first for MetLife Stadium. Dave Duernberger, vice president of facilities there, says the stadium produced 195 tons of food waste for composting last year, up from 153 tons the year before. Duernberger expects about seven or eight tons to be generated during the Super Bowl, which will go into a giant compactor and then be trucked to a local facility for processing. The end product can be used for landscaping.
These efforts, along with sustainable actions not related to food service, have drawn a thumbs up from the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, whose president, Jeff Tittel, called the programs “good for the environment and good for the NFL’s image.”