The accolades just kept rolling in for the Minnesota Wild organization this summer. Sure, they may not have been the ultimate prizes like a President's Trophy or a Stanley Cup. But when those awards do make their way to St. Paul (hopefully in 2011), we can put them in the trophy case, right next to the Sustainability awards garnered by Xcel Energy Center and RiverCentre in 2010.
In April, the City of Saint Paul awarded the facilities with the "Sustainable Saint Paul -- Waste Reduction and Recycling Award." Two months later, the Midwest Society of Association Executives (MSAE) presented Saint Paul RiverCentre with an Award of Excellence in Public Service for the venue's multifaceted sutainability initiative "50 50 in 2."
The goal of that program was to reduce the campus trash stream by 50% and increase the recycling rate up to 50% in a two year period. In less than a year, this has resulted over one million pounds of trash from the waste stream and a recycling rate that has doubled to 40%.
"We realized that just putting recycle bins all over the arena just wouldn't work," said Jim Ibister, the Vice President of Facility Administration and General Manager of the Rivercentre. "We had to educate our staff and our fans, and the results have been unbelievable so far."
The success of "50 50 in 2" was just a springboard as the Wild and Xcel Energy Center's parent company, Minnesota Sports and Entertainment (MSE) continues its push to go green, and Wild fans will play a major role in the success.
The Wild has started a Paperless E-ticket campaign. By cutting the amount of printing of season ticket books, we can save thousands of pounds of paper a year. Additionally, it will be easier for fans to transfer their tickets to others electronically, and the days of forgetting your tickets in the kitchen cupboard will be going the way of slap bracelets. All fans need to do when entering the arena gates is to swipe their card.
In addition to saving trees, there will also be a concerted effort over the next three years to save energy. MSE has implemented the "80 20 in 3" program. The plan for this is to reduce the carbon footprint of the organization's operations by 80% and become 20% more efficient than average buildings of similar size and purpose. Everything from lighting to heating and cooling will be equipped to reaching these goals.
Winning games and winning awards are important, but achieving goals when it comes to the environment is a win for everybody.