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NASCAR Steers Towards Sustainability Through Biofuels, Recycling

This story was updated on March 5, 2013.

NASCAR has made substantial sustainability gains in environmental improvement and technological advancement less than four years after launching its NASCAR Green initiative, according to a white paper published by the auto racing giant.

The program was set in motion in 2008 after NASCAR created a department dedicated to the integration of environmentally sound practices within auto racing. Aware of its stigma as “the dirtiest sport in America,” NASCAR sought to change this image through thought leadership and influencer engagement.

The auto racing body has made progress in several areas, including introducing the use of biofuels, incorporating renewable energy into raceways and encouraging NASCAR teams to recycle. NASCAR has put more than three million miles on Sunoco Green E15, a high-performance biofuel shown to reduce emissions of harmful toxins by 20 percent over traditional fuels. The Pocono Raceway, which hosts two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, is the largest solar-powered sports facility in the world. NASCAR has also implemented a tree-planting program aimed at capturing 100 percent of the emissions produced by on-track racing.

“NASCAR Green has become one of the most influential environmental awareness platforms in the history of the US since its inception in 2008,” said Mike Lynch, NASCAR managing director of green innovation. “NASCAR's millions of fans are now 100% more likely than non-fans to view their household as 'very green' and always looking for ways to positively impact the environment, up from 70% more likely in 2011. A major reason for this unprecedented impact has been the efforts of partners like UPS in reducing our sport's environmental impact by transferring solutions from their core business."

Last month NASCAR gave UPS the "green flag" in sustainability for its upgraded Trackside Services operation. Beginning with this season’s opening events at Daytona International Speedway, UPS Trackside Services will operate with a truck equipped with a diesel exhaust fluid (D.E.F.) system used to reduce exhaust particulate matter. Additionally, the service trailer has been outfitted with solar panels to help supplement sustainable energy needed to run the operation. The mobile unit features a photovoltaic (PV)-powered system with a large array of battery power, which also provides for a generator and access to shore power.

In related news, last year NASCAR partnered with Sprint on America Recycles Day,to offer a phone buyback program at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix, Arizona. The goal was to give “second life” to old cell phones and reduce the amount of electronic waste in the market place.


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