Indianapolis – Officials from the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee were joined by Jack Groh, NFL Environmental Program Director, and other representatives on Thursday for the official “Passing the Shovel” ceremony. The ceremony, which included a tree planting, marked the transition of the NFL’s Environmental Program from the Indianapolis Host Committee to New Orleans as they prepare for Super Bowl XLVII.
Jack Groh, director of the NFL Environmental Program, accepted the shovel on behalf of the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee. “The Indianapolis Host Committee did an excellent job involving the community in the ‘greening’ of Super Bowl XLVI. Volunteers planted thousands of trees, set up successful recycling systems and helped recover tens of thousands of pounds of food. Children throughout the area were also involved and donated nearly 40,000 books and pieces of sports equipment to help other local children.”
Students representing Arsenal Technical High School’s National Honor Society planted 12 trees on the campus after the ceremony, bringing the total tree count for the Indianapolis Host Committee’s “2,012 Trees by 2012” initiative to 2,888. The trees planted on Thursday are part of 45 trees donated by Green Mountain Energy Company. Over their lifetime, these 45 trees will avoid as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as taking 14 road trips from Lucas Oil Stadium to every NFL Stadium in the country.**
Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s longest serving retail provider of green power, partnered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful for the tree plantings as part of a number of green efforts for Super Bowl XLVI. Other environmentally-minded contributions from Green Mountain included supplying 15,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with the electricity used at major NFL venues, including Lucas Oil Stadium. Green Mountain also donated a residential solar array to Rebuilding Together. This donation was incorporated into the Near East Side Legacy Project, an Indianapolis Host Committee initiative for neighborhood revitalization.
“It was an honor for us to be the green power provider for Super Bowl XLVI and get to play such an important role in the NFL’s efforts to green up the big game,” said Scott Martin, vice president, National Sales and Business Development, Green Mountain Energy Company. “Green Mountain’s partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful in support of this urban forestry project is a natural extension, and something we were proud to do, as part of our environmental contributions to the Super Bowl and the Indianapolis community.”
“Through neighborhood partnerships like this one on the Near Eastside, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and thousands of volunteers have planted more than 30,000 trees over the past five years,” added David Forsell, president, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. “It’s rewarding to see results when people pour sweat equity into projects that will benefit generations to come,” he concluded.
Other officials on hand for the “Passing the Shovel” ceremony included Kalen Irsay, vice president, Indianapolis Colts, the Colts mascot Blue, Colts cheerleaders, and Tony Mason, senior vice president, 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee.
**Based on 14,950 lbs. CO2 per tree over 40 year lifetime (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service); 52,126 miles from Indianapolis to every NFL stadium and back and 0.9 lbs. CO2 per mile.
About the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee
The purpose of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, as defined by the NFL, is to centralize the planning and execution of the 2012 Super Bowl through one entity to ensure coordination of all efforts and community resources. The Host Committee serves as an extension to the National Football League in the local community, as the city’s ambassador to incoming Super Bowl fans, guests, and corporations, and as a manager of local resources such as city services, event venues, accommodations, and thousands of volunteers.
About Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 to “change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, such as wind, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. One of Green Mountain’s largest customers is the “world’s most famous office building,” the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 19.4 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. As a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), Green Mountain is backed by one of the nation’s largest renewable power producers. For more information, visit www.GreenMountain.com.
About Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB)
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization uniting people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement. In 2011, KIB worked with more than 46,000 volunteers on over 600 community projects throughout the city. To learn more, visit www.kibi.org, or follow us on Twitter @kibiorg and like us on Facebook @kibiorg.