Achieving Carbon Neutrality at the 2024 NFL Draft

2024 nfl draft stage detroit

Through securing offsets, DTE is actively preserving forests in northern Michigan, which serve as carbon sinks and would have otherwise faced the threat of deforestation. (Credit: Sporting News)

by | Apr 26, 2024

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In a bold move towards environmental stewardship, the 2024 NFL Draft kicked off in Detroit yesterday, marking the beginning of an initiative to revolutionize how large-scale events are managed. Against the backdrop of the bustling city, the NFL, in collaboration with DTE Energy and local partners, is spearheading efforts to ensure that this year’s Draft sets a new standard for sustainability.

As the anticipation of the Draft electrifies the atmosphere, meticulous planning and forward-thinking strategies are quietly at work behind the scenes to mitigate the event’s carbon footprint. Leading this charge is DTE Energy, a key player in Michigan’s energy sector, harnessing its MIGreenPower and Natural Gas Balance programs to counteract the environmental effects of the Draft’s organization and execution.

The Draft’s implementation of innovative tactics, overseen by sustainability tech provider ENGIE Impact, ensures that every aspect of the event is geared towards minimizing environmental impact. Every detail has been meticulously planned to maximize sustainability, from mapping and offsetting emissions associated with event logistics to deploying specialized waste and composting containers.

DTE’s Role in Helping the NFL Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Through securing offsets, DTE is actively preserving forests in northern Michigan, which serve as carbon sinks and would have otherwise faced the threat of deforestation. Carbon offset initiatives mirror those utilized in DTE’s voluntary Natural Gas Balance program, benefiting the environment and its customers. These endeavors are forecasted to yield a substantial effect, comparable to the removal of 310 cars from the road for a year, saving 146,500 gallons of gasoline, or meeting the annual electricity requirements of nearly 260 households.

Tony Tomczak, Vice President of Electric Sales and Marketing at DTE Energy, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, emphasizing the alignment with the company’s broader sustainability objectives. “DTE is eager to harness the advantages of our voluntary renewable energy programs to foster a cleaner environment for the NFL Draft and Visit Detroit,” Tomczak stated. “Reducing the carbon footprint of this event underscores our dedication to preserving Michigan as a vibrant and sustainable community for future generations.”

NFL’s Commitment to Sustainability

The NFL has been actively championing sustainability and reducing emissions over the past three years through its environmental program, NFL Green. This program works to mitigate the environmental impact of the NFL’s major events and create a “green” legacy in each community that hosts the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and the NFL Draft. Implementing food recovery, community greening, and material recovery initiatives. In 2024, the NFL’s goal was for the Super Bowl to be a carbon neutral event. This was achieved through a comprehensive carbon offsetting strategy with various environmental partners.

In addition to these efforts, the NFL has introduced sustainable transportation initiatives, such as electric shuttles, bike-sharing programs, and incentives for carpooling. They have also leveraged cutting-edge green energy innovations to power the event and introduced a plastic-free game day experience. Beyond the confines of the stadium, NFL Green has left a lasting legacy through community projects in the host city of Las Vegas, Nevada.

As Susan Groh, Associate Director of NFL Green, stated, “The goal of NFL Green is to reduce the environmental impact of our events and to go well beyond that to leave a positive ‘green’ legacy in the communities that host our events.”

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