NASCAR Media Conference
May 21, 2012
THE MODERATOR: Proud to welcome some special guests to my left. From the EPA we have Jim Jones, who is Acting Assistant Administrator For the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Also with us we have Matt Bogoshian, Senior Policy Counsel, Alan Farmer is Director Or Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act Division, and Larry Lincoln, in External Affairs.
Off to my left we have Mike Lynch, Dr. Lynch, our Managing Director of Green Innovation at NASCAR and is behind our efforts to drive sustainable efforts amongst our fans. Then we have Steve Phelps, our Chief Marketing Officer.
What brings us together here today is a partnership between NASCAR and the Environmental Protection Agency. We are really excited to announce today that we are signing together a Memorandum of Understanding which is going to break out specific areas in which our two organizations are going to work together to drive sustainability amongst our fans.
With that I will hand it over to Dr. Lynch as to why NASCAR entered into this agreement.
DR. MIKE LYNCH: Thank you. Hello, everybody.
I think the way to sum it up it is three and a half years ago we kicked off the NASCAR Green Strategy into the teeth of a terrible economic situation and really a time of great ambiguity in the sport and in the country. Really what's happened since then is that NASCAR Nation, the NASCAR stakeholders, literally everyone involved in the sport in one way or another has pulled on this rope that is NASCAR Green along the way. It's really resulted in a tremendous amount of progress.
This collaboration between NASCAR and the EPA, the timing of it is great because we're now at a time of optimism, of aspiration, and in those three and a half years we've also seen the NASCAR fan base literally move in a green direction to a greater degree than the rest of the U.S. in ways that were striking and incredibly surprising.
About three and a half years ago NASCAR fans and non‑fans were equivalent on green attitudes and behaviors. Today NASCAR fans are 50% more likely than non‑fans to say their household is green. When you take a step back and think how many green programs of any kind, whether it's in sports, corporate America, government, et cetera, or in non‑government organizations, have there ever been programs that have moved the needle with that many people over such a short timeframe?
Really you have to think back to a couple EPA programs: Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute. It's on par with that in terms of moving the perception and behavior of tens of millions of people.
Today we're able to enter a collaboration with the EPA around promotion of green education and awareness among our fan base, across age ranges from preschool through adulthood, and really to help bring greater visibility within our sport to things like the Design For Environment Product Certification Program that the EPA has. It's a remarkable program, the products in that have really stood up to very stern criteria.
We'll also be working with the EPA to take a look at selected aspects of our operation to really try to find ways to make them greener, also save money, have them be business smart overall.
Thanks to Matt and Jim and everybody who is here from the EPA, we're looking forward to a great collaboration.
I'll turn it over to Steve Phelps.
STEVE PHELPS: Thanks, Mike.
If you think about when we all as NASCAR employees first heard about NASCAR going green, I think there were a number of people that kind of scratched their head and said, We're somewhat of a brown sport and we're going green, doesn't seem like there's a fit here. But that was the whole point. That was the genius of what Brian France came up with. Brian in his mind said, If we can be green as a sport, then anyone can be green. That has proved out.
So the hiring of Mike Lynch and the different programs that we've done are incredible. In three years we are now the largest recycler in sports. The Pocono Raceway, they are the largest renewable energy facility in all of sports. We have a massive tree planting program that we do that we've instituted a few years ago.
You look at what happened at the team level. Roush Fenway Racing, 96% of the cars get recycled. Truly amazing. The fact that we've now logged over two million miles in our three national series on a bio fuel, Sonoco Green e15, a 15% ethanol blend, is truly extraordinary.
You go on the sponsorship side. We have best‑in‑class partners who are supporting our green efforts, Coca‑Cola, Sprint, Ford, Toyota, Coors Light, all involved in leveraging what they do from a green standpoint, sustainability standpoint with NASCAR.
This has opened up new doors for us with other green products and companies. That is increasing. The number of companies that are coming to NASCAR that want to be in the green space is extraordinary.
So lastly and finally before I bring Jim up here, if you look at this relationship and this partnership, it's a voluntary partnership between NASCAR and the EPA, and it's based solely on getting our fans to understand the importance of sustainability and change their behavior in this space.
With that, I bring up Jim. Thank you.
JIM JONES: Good afternoon. Thanks, Steve and thanks, Mike. Thanks to NASCAR. Thank you for all that you have done in the last several years to help green your sport and green the economy as a whole.
The seriousness with which NASCAR has taken its green efforts is really impressive and to be commended. What you've done at your racetracks regarding recycling, whether it be soda cans, beer cans, plastic water bottles, the tire and oil that are recycled, the solar installations that you've done at the tracks, it's really been remarkable.
We at EPA are very excited, not only about what you've been able to do as an industry to green what happens in your industry, but we're thrilled to be a party to working with you to help your fans and your suppliers become more green in their lives.
So the Design For the Environment Program, one of the features of the MOU here today, will allow not only NASCAR to select products that are environmentally safe, but to allow your fans to understand how easy it can be to pick a cleaner product, pick a product they're using on their car, whether it's inside or out, pick a product they're using on their boat, know with confidence the ingredients are safe.
Simple things like helping inform a consumer of a product that has those kinds of attributes is something that we're very excited about. That's largely because of the amazing reach that your organization has with the American consumer because there are millions of NASCAR fans.
So your embrace of Design For the Environment not only in terms of purchasing that you make but also signaling to your fans about how simple information can help them make better choices for themselves, their families and the environment is very exciting for us at EPA.
The other part of the MOU that's exciting for us, something a little bit behind the scenes, has to do with your suppliers. You have hundreds of suppliers supplying both the racetracks as well as what is raced at the racetracks, hundreds of them. Working with us, we're going to help provide some tools with some our Federal partners that will help your suppliers be more green in their business.
By reducing their use of energy, water, chemicals, reducing the amount of waste they create, we're going to help them reduce their environmental footprint and increase their bottom line. This program we refer to is E3: Energy, Economy and the Environment.
Those are two of the things, not so much about what happens on the racetrack, but those who supply what happens on the racetrack as well as informing those who come to your racetracks which is really an exciting addition to NASCAR's investments and time in the environmental space where you're not just focusing on what you're doing, you're focusing on your suppliers and customers. I think that's a really exciting and forward place for an industry to be.
I can say you are at the forefront, attempting to influence your suppliers and your customers and not exclusively what's happening in your footprint itself.
So we at the EPA are very excited about this MOU. We look forward to working with our friends here at NASCAR. I think together we're going to be able to achieve a lot. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Very excited to choose to do this as a sport. Very excited that the EPA has chosen to work so closely with us in making sure that these three key areas of partnership will be something for all of our fans to watch out for.
With that, I think we have some Memorandums of Understanding. If you want to pass those out. This document, the signature of these documents is a pretty important moment for NASCAR. I think one of the things that often gets overlooked is over the past three years we've done so much in NASCAR Green, but I think it's really important to point out the fact that we are leaders across all sports. I don't believe that there's a similar partnership that exists with another sports league with the EPA. We're happy to do it.
With that, why don't you all go ahead and put pen to paper for this MOU.
THE MODERATOR: We'll stand up to take a quick photo and then we'll do one‑on‑one media interviews off to the side here.
Thank you very much, everybody, and all of our employees to take time out of their day to check out what's going on. Thank you for your time and interest. Thank you, everybody.
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