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The Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia has recently become LEED Gold certified—a feat that the Sewell, New Jersey-based Gold Medal Environmental says is due, in part, to its on-site aerobic digester at the stadium.

Gold Medal has announced that its two aerobic digesters have diverted more than 101,000 pounds of food waste from local landfills since the Philadelphia Eagles put them into its facilities—the first in its practice facility in 2016, and the second in Lincoln Financial Field in 2017.

Food waste currently represents over one third of the landfilled waste in the U.S., says Gold Medal Environmental, which added that its bio-digester has become a significant component of the Eagle’s Go Green program. Go Green, which began with the stadium opening in 2003 and just a few recycling bins, has grown to include stadium-wide composting and the utilization of an on-site bio-digester. The combined initiatives contribute to the diversion of 4,000 tons of waste each year.

Gold Medal’s aerobic digestion utilizes oxygen, microorganisms and warm water to break food waste down into a liquid that can be safely discharged into the sanitary sewer system. This process furthers sustainability goals by eliminating the need for hauling, storing and processing.

“We are thrilled to be part of such a meaningful program,” says Michael Schmidt, the EVP of strategic growth and development at Gold Medal. “As exemplified by the Go Green program, businesses and institutions can make a significant positive impact on the environment.”

Awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, 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 earned gold, operating 100 percent on clean energy, diverting 99 percent of waste from landfills and phasing out plastics at concession stands.

Lincoln Financial Field has implemented several other practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in areas such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and

indoor environmental quality. The organization tracked its performance in Arc, a state-of- the-art digital platform that benchmarks and measures sustainability impact. Lincoln Financial Field initially certified LEED Silver in 2013.

“Reaching LEED Gold status is a tremendous accomplishment for our organization,” says Don Smolenski, the Philadelphia Eagles President. “Since opening Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, we have been steadfast in our commitment to sustainable business practices. The LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council is another proof point of the many positive steps we have taken in this important area. We hope that our continued efforts in this space inspire other organizations to adopt and embrace sustainable management practices, including green energy production, water and energy conservation, recycling and composting.”