03/30/2007 10:33 AM ET
Opening Day goes green
CINCINNATI -- Opening Day in Cincinnati is going green. Following the lead of the 79th Academy Awards ceremony, the Cincinnati Reds have partnered with Duke Energy to become the first professional sports team to go "carbon neutral."
For Monday's Opening Day game, the Reds have purchased from Carbon Solutions Group credits called Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER), which are used to fund energy projects that help reduce the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.
The electricity and natural gas used at Great American Ball Park on Opening Day will create carbon emissions. By purchasing the VER credits, the Reds are giving back to the environment by helping fund such energy projects as wind mill and solar farms that emit no carbon.
"We are excited to participate in eco-friendly projects that expand our mission of community awareness and involvement and stewardship," said Declan Mullin, GABP vice president of ballpark operations. "It is gratifying to know that Opening Day 2007 will be a carbon neutral event."
Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, who is scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, is a strong proponent of environmental issues. He signed the national Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and led the effort to establish the city's Office of Environmental Quality.
"Once again the Reds are taking the lead, this time as the first 'green' baseball team," Mallory said. "Carbon neutral baseball may not have an effect on the game on the field, but it is a huge step toward protecting our future."
The Reds and Duke Energy also have agreed in principle to earmark other dates for "green days," including Earth Day, scheduled for April 22 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"This is a great opportunity for Duke Energy to help raise awareness of global climate change in the community," said Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky president Sandra Meyer. "By partnering with the Reds on a carbon neutral Opening Day, we continue the spirit of our voluntary program to control carbon emissions and encourage energy conservation."