Michigan International Speedway is considered a leader in NASCAR with its year-long commitment to preserving the environment. The track will compete among companies throughout the state of Michigan in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings.
The speedway has entered three buildings into the statewide competition that will run until December 31. The competition will judge the energy efficiency of the Administration Building, the Infield Suite Building and the Event Operations Building to other Michigan companies.
Made possible by strong community partners like the West Michigan Chapter and Detroit Chapter of the US Green Building council, Consumers Energy, and DTE Energy, the Michigan USGBC Battle of the Buildings program is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction open to all commercial buildings. The program is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the region and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area’s building owners and operators. The buildings that demonstrate the greatest percentage-based reduction in EUI (energy use intensity) during the competition will be recognized as a winner at the 2017 energy summit.
Throughout the competition MIS will cut energy waste through energy-saving activities such as making improvements to the building, optimizing operations and maintenance, and encouraging employees to save.
In addition, MIS President Roger Curtis is one of the keynote speakers at the Energy Summit and Awards Ceremony on April 22. The 2016 Energy Summit will celebrate the 2015 Michigan Battle of the Buildings biggest losers. The summit will welcome leading building owners and operators from across the state of Michigan.
“We have made a commitment to doing our part to preserve the environment and doing our part to leave it in better shape,” Curtis said. “MIS is one of the greenest sports facilities in the county, if not the greenest, as 100 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources and I am excited to see how we matchup against other Michigan companies. We take pride in the environment and are continually looking for ways to decrease our carbon footprint.”
The speedway has worked since 2008 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, during its NASCAR events. That effort has extended to the Faster Horses Festival weekend. MIS annually recycles cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, construction waste, electronic waste, batteries and motor oil after its events, due largely to the help of its guests.
The speedway also works with Consumers Energy to ensure all of its electricity comes from renewable sources. Consumers Energy and MIS also work to help build Michigan’s clean energy future including:
“MIS takes great pride in knowing that our green initiatives have made a significant, positive impact to the environment and the sport of auto racing, and we continue to do different things to move forward with those initiatives,” Curtis said. “It’s the right thing to do to protect our environment. Our brand at MIS is very much an environmentally friendly one. 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.