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Eco-Friendly Left TurnsTo raise awareness of green products and solutions that can benefit NASCAR partners and fans, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) [PDF] to work together.
“This MOU is a great example of NASCAR’s commitment to green innovation and our role as a leader in sustainability,” said Steve Phelps, Chief Marketing Officer of NASCAR. “Even with the largest sustainability program in sports, NASCAR – along with our teams, tracks and partners – continues to create innovative platforms to help reduce the environmental impact of our sport.”
Through this agreement, EPA will provide technical assistance and expertise to NASCAR to continue to increase their environmental performance and communicate environmental information in ways that reach the NASCAR family and racing fans across the country.
“Because NASCAR is followed by millions of passionate fans and many businesses, it can be a powerful platform to raise environmental awareness, drive the adoption of safer products by more Americans, and support the growing green economy,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). “The EPA and NASCAR partnership attests to the progress NASCAR has already made on environmental stewardship through greener fuel choices and multiple recycling initiatives for waste and automotive fluids, and highlights opportunities to further these efforts.”
One of the areas of focus for the partnership is promoting safer products that have earned EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) label. NASCAR can make a difference by using DfE products at racing events and conveying to fans that choosing DfE products is an easy, cost-effective and important choice they can make to protect the health of their families and the planet.
Another example is NASCAR's offer to encourage its suppliers to get an "E3 tuneup" – to increase productivity, reduce the use of energy and materials, lessen environmental impacts and be better positioned to compete in the global marketplace. The E3 initiative – Economy, Energy and Environment – helps promote sustainable manufacturing and economic growth throughout the country.
The MOU will pave the way for other opportunities and areas of focus for EPA and NASCAR such as using more sustainable concessions at NASCAR events, expanding the use of safer chemical products, conserving water, reducing waste and promoting recycling.
The agreement to work together will leverage the work of both organizations' to have a positive economic and environmental impact that extends far beyond the racetrack.
Last month, NASCAR issued a white paper [PDF] detailing various programs that impact the organization’s goal to be a leader in green initiatives across all sports. The data in The Sports Leader in Sustainability illustrated the steps NASCAR has taken in educating fans, reducing the sport's environmental impact and validating green technologies – both on and off the track. The report is not endorsed by the EPA.
NASCAR’s past environmental initiatives include its use, since the start of the 2011 season, of Sunoco Green E15. This fuel is blended with 15 percent ethanol. Additionally, a 3-MW ground-mount solar energy system powers NASCAR’s Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. The 25-acre solar installation consists of nearly 40,000 photovoltaic modules that are expected to produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy between 2010 and 2030.
NASCAR also says its tree planting program offsets 100 percent of the emissions produced by on-track racing. It also has the largest recycling program in sports, in collaboration with Coca-Cola Recycling, Coors Light, Safety-Kleen and Creative Recycling, according to the company.