Many green consulting firms focus primarily on assisting clients in negotiating the paperwork-intensive LEED certification process. (You can access several, including Paladino, through the links to the right). So, when I saw this article about a new Minneapolis-based green consultant, I thought its business plan was extremely original. A former Minnesota county commissioner, Mark Andrew recently formed GreenMark Environmental Sports Marketing, a consulting firm that will service both college and professional sports teams, working with them to incorporate green features into their stadiums and products. It will also assist teams in branding themselves as champions of sustainability (and in the cases of the teams I threw into the title of this post, this may be the only championship they’ll ever see).
Sports teams come out winners by being able to showcase how they are being good citizens and stewards of the Earth. And the environment will benefit from reductions in things like greenhouse emissions and stormwater run-off. The biggest impact might come from the stage stadiums would offer green-friendly building design. “These buildings are just massive public billboards that give you a chance to say ‘Look at the good we can do through green buildings,’” says Andrew.
GreenMark’s target market will be teams that are building or renovating stadiums, not only because it stands to have the biggest impact, but also because it’s a good way for teams to diffuse cynicism about their other efforts.
Andrew’s idea doesn’t come completely out of the blue- the proposed new ballpark for the Twins requires LEED certification for certain additional costs, and the new D.C. ballpark for the Nationals will also seek LEED certification. I expect that we’ll see even more focused, niche green building consulting practices in 2007 as more entities, both public and private, see the benefits of going green.
- Seeing Green Opportunities (Downtown Journal)
- Last in the NL East but First in Sustainability? (gbnyc.com)
- Twins Ballpark Update (mlblogs.com)