Environmental Innovator Winner: Monumental Sports & Entertainment

Environmental Innovator Winner: Monumental Sports & Entertainment
June 7, 2017
Posted by:
Kelley Martin

Monumental Sports & Entertainment

Nomination Application

Description of Project or Initiative: Please describe the program or initiative and how the applicant is leading the industry in encouraging environmental and social change in 500 words (4000 characters) or less. Be sure to include how the project or initiative embodies the 2017 Green Sports Alliance Summit Theme, PLAY GREENER ™: Engaging Fans, Athletes, and Communities.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment, located in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. Monumental operates five professional sports teams, including the Washington Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, Valor, and the Baltimore Brigade.  The company owns and operates Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., which is annually ranked as one of the top venues in the world by leading industry publications. Monumental Sports & Entertainment has entered into a comprehensive partnership with WGL Energy to ensure that sustainability is at the core of their operations.  This agreement will allow the Verizon Center, home to the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, as well as concerts and other entertainment events, to reduce carbon emissions, support new renewable energy projects, and become a leader in clean energy.

As part of the innovative energy solution, Monumental has agreed to procure power for the Verizon Center that will be sourced from a new offsite solar facility in Frederick County, Md. (one of the largest facilities in the state), and bundled with national solar renewable energy credits, which will allow the sports and entertainment facility to operate using 25 percent solar energy.  Through this agreement, Monumental will reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate to thousands of fans that their corporate values are aligned with responsible environmental stewardship. The Verizon Center is a member of the Green Sports Alliance, and through this unique energy solution, the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics are among the first professional sports teams with home games powered by offsite renewable energy.  

Beginning in late 2017, the Verizon Center will receive about 3.5 MW of solar energy, producing over 4.7 million kWh per year. The carbon emissions avoided from the solar energy use are equivalent to taking nearly 700 cars off the road for one year.

In addition, Monumental has entered into a partnership with WGL, the parent company of WGL Energy, to green all events at the arena by counterbalancing the greenhouse gas emissions generated by lighting, heating, food and solid waste with carbon offsets.  Through the partnership, Carbon Offsets from WGL Energy are used to counterbalance emissions from all events held at the arena. In addition, this partnership results in contributions to the Carbon Reduction Fund, which is managed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and goes toward new projects, such as tree plantings, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also helping to improve air and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay region.

In 2016, Verizon Center’s greening partnership with WGL counterbalanced over 3,123 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from 201 events at the arena including concerts, Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Georgetown University games.  This is equivalent to avoiding the consumption of over 351,000 gallons of gasoline or taking 660 cars off the road for 1 year. These greening opportunities not only help to protect the planet, but also leverage the center’s prime location to educate fans about the environment and encourage greater use of renewable energy.