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49ers President: Going Green Is 'Who We Are'

Posted May 19, 2014

San Francisco 49ers team president Paraag Marathe discusses the club's commitment to green energy and the LEED Gold certification at Levi's® Stadium.

Levis® Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, is the first newly constructed LEED Gold-certified NFL venue.

With the use of solar panels and plants on top of the westside suite tower, the stadium will be net-zero to the electric grid on gamedays.

When The Wall Street Journal asked 49ers team president Paraag Marathe during an online video panel on Monday why the team decided to wholeheartedly support green initiatives, the answer was simple.

“This isn’t something that we’re doing. It’s more about who we are,” Marathe said via webcam. “It’s a mandate for the area. Everywhere you go, up and down Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, you’ll see there’s a commitment to the environment.”

Levi’s® Stadium Founding Partner NRG has been integral to the venue’s vision of sustainability. As the nation’s largest developer of solar power, NRG has installed a number of state-of-the-art solar elements at the stadium including a solar canopy above the green roof and three solar-array covered footbridges, the first of their kind in the NFL, adding to the unique design of the building. 

SunPower, a current 49ers partner and the stadium’s official solar panel provider, provided more than 1,100 photovoltaic panels for the project.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification certainly didn’t make building the first new football stadium in California since 1967 any easier.

Bermuda Bandera grass, which requires up to 50 percent less water, has been installed as the team’s new playing surface.

Low-flow toilets systems and sinks were also taken into account along with recycled and reclaimed building products. Even the concession stands will feature food from local suppliers and excess waste will be recycled and composted whenever possible.

Each one of these details was crucial in the new stadium design.

“We either have no stadium, or we have a stadium the way it is currently constructed, one that is environmentally conscious,” Marathe said.

Marathe hopes the 49ers new home will help in the continued pursuit to innovate and reduce the carbon footprint.

“We’re in a position of great profile and exposure with TV ratings where they are and the popularity of NFL football,” Marathe said. “We’re in a position to be leaders and be advocating for the mission that’s important to a lot of teams and the league.”

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