The Indians are believed to be the first professional sports team to make the commitment to have their electricity generated entirely from renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy sources such as wind, geothermal and biomass can be utilized in a sustainable manner with significantly less environmental impact than fossil fuels. Renewable energy also has the benefit of being produced in our region. This means less dependence on resources from outside our area and helps support local employment.
"We want to be responsible stewards of the environment and this was a big step toward making our business more sustainable," said Spokane Indians President Andy Billig. "In addition to being the right thing to do, we hope this move will help raise awareness among other business and individuals about the importance of sustainability and the steps that can be taken to lessen our environmental footprint."
Last year the Indians underwent a comprehensive sustainability review conducted by Community-Minded Enterprises and made a number of improvements to their operation that have made the Indians and Avista Stadium more environmentally friendly. These improvements included:
- Changing to Green Seal approved paper products and Neutral based cleaning products.
- Adding bicycle racks made from recycled stadium materials to promote bike riding instead of driving vehicles to the game.
- Expanding the recycling program and the introduction of Recycle Man to promote recycling at the stadium and in the community. In 2009, the Indians recycled over 17,000 pounds of aluminum, plastic and paper products with the assistance of Sunshine Disposal & Recycle.
While last year saw the Indians strengthen their focus on sustainability and conservation, the team has taken significant steps in the past to make their business more sustainable. In 2001, the Indians changed game times from 7:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in order to conserve electricity. This change has resulted in approximately a 20% reduction of electricity used by the Avista Stadium field lights.
"A clean energy future depends on the choices we make today. The Spokane Indians organization is demonstrating good stewardship by choosing to power Avista Stadium with renewable energy, and we commend them for their leadership," said Roger Woodworth, Avista vice president for sustainable energy solutions."
Avista Utilities offers Buck-A-Block as an optional rate for customers choosing to support alternative renewable energy. Each block covers the premium to purchase 300 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of new renewable energy. This cost is in addition to normal rates as the environmental offsets, or credits for emission-free generation, cost more. Each block costs just one dollar per month. Nearly 4,000 customers are currently subscribing at an average of four dollars a month. Just one or two dollars a month helps offset environmental impacts and supports new renewable energy development, like wind power, geothermal, biomass (landfill gas and wood waste). For more information, visit avistautilities.com.
More than 200,000 people visit Avista Stadium each year to enjoy Spokane Indians games, high school regular season and play-off games, adult recreation league baseball games and other special events including the 2010 American Legion World Series, which will be hosted at Avista Stadium this August.