The grass isn't the only thing that's green at Safeco Field. With a sincere and sustained commitment, the Seattle Mariners are working to significantly reduce our environmental impact.
Since 2006, the Mariners have been leaders in sustainable ballpark operations. Further, we use the power of our position as a community leader to educate and encourage fans, partners, employees and the community at large to make changes both large and small that advance the cause of sustainability.
In 2015, The Mariners recycled or composted 87% of all waste generated at Safeco Field. In 2005, the rate was just 12%. Nearly everything used at Safeco Field is recyclable or compostable including food service items (plates, knives, forks, cups, straws, bottles, etc.). Compost and recycling bins have replaced garbage cans on concourses and cleaning crews hand separate plastics and compostable waste after each game. The Mariners concessions partner Centerplate donated over 8 tons of food to Northwest Harvest, Operation Sack Lunch and the Salvation Army in 2015.
During 2015, due to recycling and composting, the Mariners diverted over 2.7 million pounds of waste from the landfill, saving $123,000 in waste disposal costs.
Every year since 2010, Major League Baseball named the Seattle Mariners American League Recycling Champions.
Lighting the Way
In 2014, the Seattle Mariners became the first Major League Baseball team to illuminate the playing field with LED lights. The 578 GigaTera fixtures use 800 watts of power each. The old technology metal halide lights used 1,000-2,000 watts each. LED lights are 20%-30% brighter, using 60% fewer watts, which will reduce power usage at Safeco Field by 784,000 kWh each season, saving more than $50,000 in energy costs alone. The LED fixtures are also expected to last 30-years, compared with the 2-3 year life span of the old fixtures.
Zero Waste Stations
Zero Waste Stations placed strategically throughout the public areas of Safeco Field educate and encourage fans to recycle by placing their waste in the proper containers. There are 16 Zero Waste Stations with containers for recyclable bottles and cans, food waste and compostables, and the only landfill-bound waste containers in the entire ballpark. Because nearly everything used to stage an event at Safeco Field is recyclable or compostable, the landfill waste containers have been replaced by over 400 recycling/compostables containers.
In 2011, BASF became the Mariners founding sustainability partner. Through that partnership, the Mariners and BASF have focused attention on various environmental issues through a unique partnership that helps fans learn about how the Mariners and BASF have made Safeco Field one of the greenest ballparks in baseball, and how they can practice recycling and composting at home. Last season, the Mariners recycled over 1,365 tons of food waste, yard waste, plastics, paper and other items that would have gone into landfills.
BASF and Cedar Grove Compost have joined with the Mariners to create an Urban Garden at Safeco Field. Located behind the 401' marker on the center field wall, the garden produces vegetables and herbs that are incorporated into the ballpark menu including greens for the Hit It Here Salad and radishes used as garnish for the Northwest Mex tacos at Edgar's Cantina. The garden was created by Seattle Urban Farm Company and is a demonstration of the full circle of Safeco Field's recycling program. Compostables are collected, using BASF's organic waste collection products, and turned into compost by Cedar Grove, which is then applied to the garden, whose produce is harvested and served to Safeco Field guests.
Four electric vehicle charging stations are located next to the Safeco Field parking garage, available for use 24 hours a day. Each 240 volt AC input unit is capable of fully recharging a vehicle battery in two-to-six hours. Blink Network registration is required.
An array of Panasonic HIT Double solar panels on the skybridge connecting Safeco Field to the parking garage generates 40,000 kilowatt hours of power annually, which is fed into the Safeco Field distribution grid.
Solar panels at the Mariners Spring Training headquarters at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona produce 345 kWh of electricity annually, enough for half of all the team's power needs each year. In addition, the recently renovated facility received LEED Gold Level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. The project was undertaken as part of the City of Peoria Sustainability Action Plan.
Captain Plastic & Kid Compost
The Seattle Mariners are assisted in spreading the word about sustainability by the team's two environmental superheroes-Captain Plastic and Kid Compost. Their mission is to help make Safeco Field as "green" as possible. Together, they urge fans to join the "Green Team" at Safeco Field and at home. They appear on signage, recycling bins, video features and make live appearances during games to encourage fans to participate in the ballpark's recycling and composting efforts.
Green Sports Alliance
The Mariners are founding members of the Green Sports Alliance, a groundbreaking coalition of professional sports teams and sporting venues committed to promoting "greening initiatives" in sports. In 2012, MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig was honored by the Alliance at its annual summit at Safeco Field with the first Environmental Leadership Award.
The nonprofit organization was launched in 2011 with founding members from six major leagues (MLB, NFL, MLS, WNBA, NHL, NBA), their home arenas, the Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Defense Council. It is the first time teams from the six major professional sports had collaborated on a common environmental agenda. Since the launch, over 300 sports teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues and 14 countries have joined the Alliance.
In 2015, the Mariners were named finalists for the GSA's Environmental Innovators Awards for leadership in environmental sustainability.
Awards and Accolades
2010-2015 - Major League Baseball American League Recycling Champions
2013 - Natural Resources Defense Council Game Changer Award, Scott Jenkins, Vice President Ballpark Operations
2013 - NW Energy Coalition Bob Olson Memorial Conservation Eagle Award, Scott Jenkins, Vice President Ballpark Operations
2011 - Washington State Recycling Association Recycler of the Year
2011 - Seattle Business magazine Green Washington Environmental Leadership Award
2011 - International Association of Venue Managers Venue Excellence Award
2008 - Washington CEO Magazine Green Washington Awards Special Recognition
Safeco Field Sustainability Fast Facts
- Mariners were the first MLB team to stage a "carbon neutral" game on Earth Day 2008. The environment harming effects of emissions and consumption of natural resources for the 2015 Earth Day game (Vs. Houston Astros) were mitigated through the purchase of carbon offsets, renewable energy credits and water restoration certificates.
- The Mariners have increased the recycling rate for Safeco Field from 13% in 2006 to 87% in 2015.
- Over 2.7 million pounds of recyclable materials, including paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, food waste, grass clippings and other organic matter was composted or recycled last season.
- Mariners concessions partner Centerplate donated 8 tons of food to food banks and feeding programs in 2015. Almost 50 tons have been donated since the program began in 2011.
- Solar panels now provide over half the electricity used on an annual basis at the Mariners Spring Training complex in Peoria, Arizona.
- The Mariners are founding members of the Green Sports Alliance, a groundbreaking coalition of professional sports teams and sporting venues committed to promoting "greening initiatives" in sports.
- The Mariners two Recycling Superheroes, Captain Plastic and Kid Compost, encourage fans to reduce, reuse and recycle at Safeco Field and at home.