Mega Events

Seahawks vs. Patriots, Green Super Bowl II Becomes The SustainaBOWL


Last year at this time we analyzed the Super Bowl combatants, the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, from a green point of view in Green Super Bowl I.

GSB identified four greening categories (Greenest City, Greenest Stadium, Most Eco-Athletes, Greenest Uniforms) and awarded points to one or both teams. And, while Denver certainly is a green city, Seattle won on three of the four categories and won Green Super Bowl I, 32-26 (a lot closer than the 43-8 Seattle rout on the field in Jersey).

We were all set to run Green Super Bowl II — with the Seahawks trying to defend their crown vs. the New England Patriots — when we were made aware of something very similar emanating from the Pacific Northwest.

So, instead of duplicating their efforts, we will share the highlights of SustainABOWL 2015.


SustainABOWL 2015 is a product of the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center. PPRC bills itself as “the Northwest’s leading source of high quality, unbiased pollution prevention information.” Of course, with one of the teams in Super Bowl XLIX hailing from the Northwest, can PPRC also be a leading source of unbiased Green Super Bowl/SustainaBOWL analysis?

We shall see!


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The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center measured the relative greenness of the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots in SustainaBOWL 2015

PPRC looked at five green categories (better categories, I must admit, than ours last year). Here are the highlights:

  1. Energy Use: PPRC gives the slight edge to New England and Gillette Stadium because of strong energy management, their use of clean energy to generate all electricity on game days via the purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), in addition to on-site solar power. CenturyLink keeps it close with on site solar generation.
  2. Stadium Construction: Because both Century Link Field in Seattle and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro were contracted largely from concrete from their predecessors (the Kingdome and Foxboro Stadium, respectively) and because both roofs are “white” or cool roofs, this category was rated a tie.
  3. Water Conservation: While PPRC gives Seattle points for installing low-flow water fixtures, New England earns a close victory here, owing to the Gillette’s being run “with 100 percent recycled ‘grey water’ supplied by the stadium’s own state-of-the-art on-site wastewater treatment and reuse system.” Are the Patriots going to win SustainaBOWL, even though the judging is being done by PPRC??
  4. Waste Diversion: Seattle gets back into the contest due to its stellar waste diversion record–in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, Century Link Field diverted 94 percent of its waste from landfill through recycling and composting. Gillette is still getting its composting operation up to speed. Big win for the ‘Hawks!
  5. Transportation: Another win for Seattle since 35 percent of fans take public transit to Century Link, while data is not available from the Pats/Gillette Stadium [insert Deflategate pun here]. There is a Patriot train to Foxboro from Boston but there’s no way that–and its counterpart from nearby Providence, is taking anywhere near 35 percent of total fans to the game.

So, do we have a tie?

Two categories for the Pats, two for the Seahawks and one tie would indicate a draw.

But you can’t have a tie in the Super Bowl nor in the SustainaBOWL so PPRC gives the Seahawks the decision.

Home cooking? (Insert Howard Cosell voice) NOT IN THIS REPORTER”S OPINION!

No solid rationale is given but I agree with the decision, and here’s why: The two categories that went Seattle’s way did so decisively. The two categories that went New England’s way were narrow victories. If the SustainaBOWL was scored on a points system, you could score it this way, based on PPRC’s analysis:

Energy Use:  New England 10 Seattle 7

Stadium Construction: New England 10 Seattle 7

Water Conservation: New England 6, Seattle 6

Waste Diversion: Seattle 7, New England 0

Transportation: Seattle 7, New England 0

FINAL SCORE: Seattle 34, New England 26.


What do you think?

Kudos to PPRC for a job really well done! Click here to see their full analysis–it’s an interesting read. Here’s hoping that next year, PPRC is rating the New York Jets’ sustainable-ness (or lack thereof)*

As for on the field, my heart is pulling for a similar result but my head says New England 28-23. I hope I’m wrong. Enjoy the game!


* I’m not on drugs. Really.



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Neill Duffy, Sustainability Advisor, Super Bowl 50 Host Committee

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