The Minnesota Twins have received a 2019 Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), recognizing the organization’s contributions to green building and sustainability in the sports industry.
The Twins, heralded as a “model for sustainability in the sporting world,” join 19 other corporations, individuals, cities and communities, specific projects, and organizations who are using green building and sustainable practices to improve quality of life for those around them. This year’s recipients will be recognized at the USGBC Leadership Awards Ceremony taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 during the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.
“Our Leadership Award recipients remind us that taking action – big or small – has the power to change lives and promote a higher living standard for us all,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “Each of these awardees made commitments to improve our world through the power of green building. Their actions are an inspiration and show us that our collective efforts can lead to meaningful change that moves us closer to our vision of buildings, communities and cities that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life.”
The Twins were the first professional sports franchise to earn LEED Silver for both new construction and operations and maintenance, receiving those distinctions in 2010 and 2011, respectively, following the opening of Target Field and the team’s first two seasons in their home ballpark. In 2017, the Twins became the first to attain LEED Gold for operations and maintenance of their facility, an honor for which the club was recertified in 2019.
Target Field — the “Greenest Ballpark in America” — is also the nation’s first sports venue to earn three levels of LEED certification through Arc, the state-of-the art digital platform that uses real-time data to help benchmark, measure and improve sustainability performance. Arc is the first of its kind to track progress through a performance score, enabling projects to make more informed decisions when it comes to sustainability.
“The Minnesota Twins organization is honored to receive the USGBC’s 2019 Leadership Award,” said team president and CEO Dave St. Peter. “Sustainability continues to be a high priority for the Twins, our employees and our fans. The ballclub remains committed to setting a high sustainability standard with a belief that it’s the right thing for our community and our business, now and into the future.”
The Twins’ many environmental stewardship efforts include a custom-designed Rain Water Recycle System provided by Minneapolis-based Pentair, helping the organization capture, purify and reuse more than 19 million total gallons of rainwater at Target Field to date; aggressive recycling and waste-to-energy programs that have kept more than 10,870 tons of waste out of local landfills since 2011; a shared initiative with Delaware North Sportservice to partner with Rock and Wrap It UP!, Inc. to donate more than 10 tons of food to local charities each season; LED fixtures for field and canopy lighting; and, a long-term partnership with Eco-Products to provide the ballpark’s compostable cups, plates, trays, utensils and straws. In 2019, the Twins installed Major League Baseball’s first “living wall” batter’s eye at Target Field; the structure’s 5,700-plus sea green juniper plants are self-irrigated through the Pentair Rain Water Recycle System.
The 2019 Leadership Award recipients represent some of the best of USGBC’s nearly 10,000 member organizations, a network of committed professionals with more than 204,800 LEED credentials and community of local leaders across the United States and throughout the world. With more than 99,800 commercial projects and more than 159 cities and communities currently participating in LEED, space in all 50 states and 176 countries and territories, the efforts of the award recipients stand out as exceptional examples of sustainability leadership among a strong and growing network of projects, companies and individuals.