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.

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High Efficiency LED Lighting

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. Additionally, during the 2022-23 offseason, the Yankees installed energy-efficient LED lighting at George M. Steinbrenner Field, which is home to Yankees spring training and the Single-A Tampa Tarpons.

Energy Efficient Technologies and Design

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.

Offsetting Unavoidable GHG Emissions

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 by promoting new employment opportunities, protecting biodiversity, and improving health and safety, including the distribution of thousands of life-saving high-efficiency cookstoves. As a result, the Yankees are leading the way towards a low-carbon, more sustainable future.

Yankee Stadium Tower Garden

In 2022, the Yankees partnered with Tower Farms and the Green Bronx Machine to unveil their first-ever Tower Garden at Yankee Stadium in late May. The structure, located inside the Stadium's Gate 2 entrance, uses the vertical, aeroponic garden system of Tower Farms, allowing for the growth of healthy, fresh produce that requires minimal resources. In addition, the garden is used to provide a hands-on learning experience for students taking part in the "New York Yankees Healthy Home Plate Program," which the team has been proudly conducting since 2011. Items grown in that space are also served to fans in select menu items, most notably in salads found at Yankee Stadium "grab-and-go" locations.

Mass Transit

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. In collaboration with the NYC Department of Transportation, the Yankees have high capacity bike sharing stations at three convenient location around the Stadium.

Composting and Recycling

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.

Recovery of Waste Cooking Oil

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

Water Conservation

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.

Healthy Air Quality

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

Smart Construction

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

Yankees Establish First Environmental Science Appointee Position in Professional Sports

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.

Yankees Recognized by New York State as Leader in Innovation and Sustainability

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."

"It is vitally important that we help promote sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment," said Yankees Senior Vice President of Stadium Operations Doug Behar. "We have implemented an array of green initiatives at Yankee Stadium and continue to look for new and better ways to conserve natural resources, educate our guests and Yankees Team Members, and support and partner with programs that promote sustainability. We are humbled to receive this award from the State and will continue to work hard to further our efforts in sustainability."

Yankees Win Environmental Leadership Award from Green Sports Alliance

Yankee Stadium Achieves WELL Health-Safety Rating

On August 26, 2020, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announced that Yankee Stadium, the home of the New York Yankees, was the first sports and entertainment venue in the world to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. The rating requirements, which were fulfilled by the club, serve as a blueprint for best operating procedures to help combat COVID-19, while also providing world-class standards for overall health and safety. By achieving this designation, which has been confirmed by a third-party verifier, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the club can operate with confidence that they are utilizing best practices for players and staff, and that they are appropriately accommodating fans in coordination with Major League Baseball and local governmental authorities.

Launched in June 2020 and created by IWBI, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by guidance developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, recognized standard-making bodies, such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions. IWBI has leveraged insights from its Task Force on COVID-19, established at the outset of the pandemic to help business and building leaders integrate actionable insights and proven strategies in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating achieved by the Yankees is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing buildings and spaces. The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder engagement strategies to help organizations prepare and maintain their spaces in an environment affected by COVID-19. The Yankees joined more than 100 organizations, encompassing over 500 facilities, who enrolled in the documentation-based program at launch and who have begun implementing its scientific guidance.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored to companies in every sector how critically important it is to be prepared for a crisis. The Yankees have demonstrated outstanding leadership by taking immediate and thoughtful action to help support the health and safety of their players, fans and employees," said Rick Fedrizzi, IWBI chairman and CEO. "We are proud to celebrate this achievement with the Yankees."

Adapted from features in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) that focus on facility maintenance and operations, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide and empower the actions of large and small businesses alike in taking the necessary steps to maintain facilities that prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders. It also serves as an annual process that supports efforts to promote long-term health and safety.

"Working with IWBI to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating allowed us to focus and implement the most effective and efficient methods known to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission for those whose workplace is Yankee Stadium and for the general public, which enjoys the venue for games and events," said Yankees Senior Vice President of Stadium Operations Doug Behar. "Given that WELL criteria have been informed by renowned experts and standard-making bodies in this field gives us confidence that we are taking appropriate preventative measures to support the health and safety of our players, field staff, employees and fans. Reaching this level and receiving third-party verification from GBCI was a long and uncompromising road, but one that is clearly in the best interests of everyone who steps foot into Yankee Stadium."

Yankee Stadium achieved the WELL Health-Safety Rating by implementing features across five categories:

  • Air and water quality management, which includes assessing the ventilation and fresh air supply through mechanical or natural means and reviewing our inventory of all filters and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) equipment.
  • Cleaning and sanitization procedures, including ensuring proper handwashing and surface contact by staff, improving cleaning practices and their frequency, and selecting cleaning products that disinfect without harmful ingredients.
  • Emergency preparedness programs, which provide a blueprint for dealing with unforeseen events and providing an actionable plan for re-entry after an emergency event.
  • Health service resources, which promote the well-being of employees through screening services, mental health services, seasonal vaccination programs and a smoke-free environment.
  • Stakeholder engagement and communications, which include employing proper signage throughout Yankee Stadium and promoting health literacy to employees, partners and patrons, including food service safety verification.

"The Yankees already had many of these strategies in place and used the WELL Health-Safety Rating to further strengthen their COVID-19 response and to document and verify these actions with our third-party reviewer GBCI," said Rachel Gutter, IWBI president. "As a result, players, staff and fans can feel confident that the Yankees have implemented our research-backed strategies to provide a safer and healthier environment to play ball."

"Restoring the sports and entertainment sectors is among the most complicated challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has engendered, socially and biologically. The New York Yankees' effort to provide confidence to its players, staff and its community is a model for all sports venues to emulate," said Allen Hershkowitz, Environmental Science Advisor to the Yankees and Co-Chair of the WELL Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues.

To learn more about the WELL Health-Safety Rating, visit