Earth Day

MIS celebrates Earth Day every day


When it comes to being green, Michigan International Speedway leads the way. The track is annually recognized for its ongoing environmental sustainability efforts throughout the year.

MIS is the first facility in all of motorsports and one of the first sporting venues in the country to join the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and offset its energy use from green power. The green power is generated by a partnership with the local utility, Consumers Energy. The track uses nearly five million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, enough green power to meet 100 percent of the organization's electricity use.

The speedway has worked since 2008 with partner Schupan on a recycling program for its race weekends, collecting hundreds of thousands of pounds of aluminum and plastics from cans and bottles, among other things. MIS annually recycles cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, construction waste, electronic waste, batteries and motor oil after its events.

Fans have embraced their role in the speedway’s recycling efforts. As avid outdoorsmen, fishermen, campers and hikers, the guests at MIS understand the importance of recycling and its impact on the environment.

MIS has recycled 286,500 pounds of plastic bottles, aluminum, glass, cardboard and paper since recycling efforts began in 2008. In 2014 alone, 55,832 pounds of material was recycled. MIS is annually the largest recycler among NASCAR tracks and all sports facilities in Michigan.

For 2014, MIS recycled 142,560 pounds of construction material. MIS has used recycled asphalt and concrete to create over 10 miles of roads in campgrounds, parking lots and tram routes since 2008.

As a result, NASCAR recognized MIS as being an industry leader during the sport’s annual Green Summit in Chicago in 2013. The NASCAR Green track operator award recognizes motorsports facilities for their ongoing contributions to developing effective and sustainable green policies and practices.

It’s no surprise that MIS is looked at as one of the founders of moving the sport in a positive direction with its various green initiatives that have made a tremendous impact not only in Michigan, but around the country.

MIS annually introduces programs that have made an immediate impact on the environment.

“Our brand at MIS is very much an environmentally friendly one,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “We are proud to serve as a leader helping to reduce, renew and educate fans about environmental issues.  It’s the right thing to do to protect our environment. Our fans are extreme outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists; in fact they refer to MIS as NASCAR in a national park and they do their part packing up their recyclables.”

All of the efforts have proved vastly important to maintaining a clean, safe and environmentally friendly facility to fans who visit MIS twice a year for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

But more, the speedway’s surrounding communities also benefit.

Most recently, the speedway entered a thriving partnership with Adrian College to observe and analyze its vast acres of wetlands around the track property. Adrian College students have inventoried all plant, animal and insect species in designated areas, as well as regularly conduct water studies and identify invasive plant species.

Adrian College students have developed a field guide and self-guided tour book for visitors, many of whom are small children. “Track and Explore” sees hundreds of kids visit MIS to look at animals, plants and test water samples from the wetlands – all as part of fun, interactive school field trips. In addition, the partnership with Adrian College helps teach local students the importance of stewardship.

Additionally, the track’s Pit Road Suites and Media Center, which opened in June 2010, has a 20 kW photovoltaic (solar panels) system, which offsets energy costs for the building used year-round.

MIS earned its Green Venues Michigan Leader Certification by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) for its ongoing conservation efforts.

At a glance: MIS environmental efforts

Given its location in the lush Irish Hills area and with over 1,400 acres of property, Michigan International Speedway is at the front of green initiatives, implementing such programs as:

  • Broad-based Recycling – through a partnership with Schupan and others at the track, MIS has collected more than 286,500 pounds of plastic bottles, aluminum, glass, cardboard and paper at the track since May 2008. In addition, MIS recycled 142,560 pounds of construction material in 2014.
  • Pace Car – A Ford Fusion Energi Hybrid paced the fields for the Quicken Loans 400 in June and Pure Michigan 400 in August in 2013. That car, through a promotion between Pure Michigan, Quicken Loans and Ford, was given away to a fan.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – MIS is the first facility in all of motorsports and one of the first sporting venues in the country to join the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and offset its energy use from green power. Our green power is generated by a partnership with our local utility, Consumers Energy.
  • Government Partnerships – MIS is the first professional sports venue in the state to join the Michigan Business Pollution Prevention Partnership (MBP3) and Retired Engineers Technical Assistance Program (RETAP).  These self-administered, private programs (with overview from the state) are designed to reduce pollution, lower energy usage and reduce costs.
  • Consumers Energy – MIS is the largest customer to enroll in Consumers Energy’s Green Generation to purchase power from renewable sources. In addition Consumers Energy will work to identify ways to cut energy usage at MIS and the two will work together at developing wind, solar and other renewable energy generation at the racetrack.
  • School Partnerships – MIS has partnered with Adrian College to observe and analyze its 200 acres of wetlands around track property to inventory plant, animal and insect species in designated areas, as well as conducting water studies and identifying invasive plant species.
  • Educational Partnerships – MIS also partnered with Adrian College to conduct an educational program called Track and Explore to teach children about the animals, plantlife and wetlands that call MIS home.
  • Alternative Power – MIS is researching alternative power sources such as wind and solar to operate its facility. The speedway’s suite/media center opening is solar-powered.
  • Wetlands conservation – MIS maintains approximately 200 acres of protected wetlands in and around the facility.
  • “Green Escape – National Park” – MIS is pursuing open-space programs to make the property available to the community as walking/biking trails and athletic fields.

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