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The Philadelphia Eagles announced this week that Lincoln Financial Field has earned a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for, among other things, operating 100 percent on clean energy, diverting 99 percent of waste from landfills and phasing out plastics at concession stands.

LEED is a popular global program for green building certification with four levels, from a base certification to silver, gold and platinum. Lincoln Financial Field, which opened in 2003, achieved silver in 2013. Five years later, it reached gold.

“Reaching LEED Gold status is a tremendous accomplishment for our organization,” Eagles president Don Smolenski said in a statement. “Since opening Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, we have been steadfast in our commitment to sustainable business practices.”

Mahesh Ramanujam, president of the Green Building Council, called Lincoln Financial Field “innovative” and said that it has lowered carbon emissions and reduced operating costs while using sustainable practices.

Lincoln Financial Field produces 4 megawatts of power from its 11,108 solar panels and 14 wind turbines. Together, they supply a third of the stadium’s power over a year. The stadium gets its remaining energy by purchasing credits from suppliers that use renewable energy.

Additionally, the team and its concessions provider, Aramark, have phased out plastic straws at both Lincoln Financial Field and the NovaCare Complex, replacing them with a plastic alternative made from renewable, compostable resources, eliminating roughly 500,000 plastic straws a year.

The Eagles’ Go Green program, which began in 2003 when the stadium opened, started with simple recycling bins for use by employees and grew to stadium-wide composting and diverting 4,000 tons of waste a year from landfills. That includes the use of on-site, bio-digesters that decompose food waste.

The stadium also has slashed use of water bottles, switched to LED lights or fluorescent light alternatives, installed timers for lighting and the HVAC system, uses environmentally-friendly cleaning products, provides beverage cups made of corn, switched to wood coffee stirrers, and installed carpets made from recycled fibers.
Further, Eagles ownership said it has created a 6.5-acre forest in Bensalem and planted 5,900 trees with help from The Conservation Fund and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.