In 2011, NASCAR’s partnership with Sunoco and American Ethanol launched its bio-fuel program to reduce the emissions of the fuel used in all its racing series. It was during this time all three series began using Sunoco Green E15 (a renewable fuel blended with 15% American-made ethanol from American-grown corn). Sunoco manufacturers, blends and transports the fuel, which emits 20% less emissions than unleaded gasoline.
NASCAR and its partners use different parts of the weekend – and the track – to recycle.
1. Coca-Cola/Coors Light. At the track, these companies educate fans on the benefits on recycling and encourage them to drop them in the designated bins. These bins have been expanded to grandstands concourses, suites, garages and campgrounds at nearly every track. Freightliner, also a partner, provides a BlueTec equipped clean-Diesel rig to the bull the Coca-Cola Portable Processing Center, which processes 1,000 containers per minute at the venues.
2. Safety-Kleen. The Official Environmental Services Supplier for NASCAR provides oil recycling and re-refining services to more than 200 NASCAR-sanctioned race a year. They ensure all oil and lubricants used in racing are recaptured and re-used. They collect and re-refine more than 200,000 gallons of race-used oil annually and continues to provide absorbent products used for cleaning fluid spills inside garages.
3. Goodyear. The Official Tire Supplier of NASCAR recycles tires used on NASCAR stock cars. They transport tires to Charlotte, N.C., where they are processed on site. Then the material is sold to various industries for new usages, including power generation and asphalt mixtures. Thanks to this program, approximately 121,000 tires in the top three series combined are recycled each year.
4. Sprint. The “Recycle for Victory” program for NASCAR’s entitlement sponsor turns cell phone parts in to lawn chairs, jewelry, new batteries and fiberboard.
Several tracks on the NASCAR circuit do their part in bringing NASCAR Green to life.
1. Pocono Raceway. In July 2010, Pocono installed a 3-MW solar farm to power all of the track’s energy needs and even reaches 250 homes in the area. It includes 40,000 solar panels on 25 acres of land next to the track and is the biggest renewable energy stadium project in the world. It lowers CO2 emissions by 2,730 metric tons annually.
2. Darlington Raceway. Working with Clemson University, the track has planted 25 acres of switch grass on the property. It can be converted into bio-diesel and other types of fuel. The track owns several acres of protected wetlands and complies with all government regulations.
3. Sonoma. Sonoma is famous for the nearly 3,000 sheep that live on the property to maintain the grasses and fire lanes around the facility. There are also 15 owl boxes to encourage the birds to nest and hunt for gophers and other rodents, thus making pesticides unnecessary. Also on the property are 1,700 Panasonic solar panels, which offsets 41 percent of the track’s energy use.
4. New Hampshire Motor Speedway. A portion of the track provides a natural environment for animals and plant life native to the state by having more than 520 acres of protected conservation land.
5. Michigan International Speedway. MIS was the first sports facility in Michigan to join the Michigan Business Pollution Prevention Partnership (MBP3) and is a member of the federal program, EPA WasteWise. Working with Coca-Cola to form a weekend recycling program, the track has collected more than 71 tons of plastic, aluminum and paper since 2008.
NASCAR teams are involved in being “green” on different levels, from recycling to how they take care of their shops.
1. Roush Fenway Racing. RFR was the first time to use 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, an environmentally friendly sustainable fire suppressant.
2. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Thanks in part to their partnership with General Electric (GE), EGR installed new lighting fixtures and bulbs in both of their race shops (North Carolina and Indiana). The changes equate to adding 93 acres of forest or removing 65 cars from the road for one year.
3. Kyle Busch Motorsports. Upon opening the shop, KBM started immediately on the path to become LEED certified. The 77,000-square-foot shop has the latest in geothermal heating and cooling, cocoon insulation, solar-controlled glass and LED lighting that reduces energy consumption.
In 2012, Creative Recycling Systems, Inc. (CRS) became an Official Green Partner of NASCAR. CRS prevents electronics form entering landfills by using state-of-the-art processing and separation technology.