When it comes to being green, Michigan International Speedway leads the way across all sports organizations. The track continues to be 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 entered three buildings into the Michigan Battle of the Buildings competition this year 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. 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.
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 355,023.85 pounds of plastic bottles, aluminum, glass, cardboard and paper since recycling efforts began in 2008. In 2015 alone, 68,523.85 pounds of material was recycled. MIS is annually the largest recycler among NASCAR tracks and all sports facilities in Michigan.
MIS has used recycled asphalt and concrete to create over 10 miles of roads in campgrounds, parking lots and tram routes since 2008.
The efforts do not stop on event weekend. MIS is working with Consumers Energy to ensure all of its electricity comes from renewable sources. The track is the largest participant to match 100% of its energy use with renewable sources through Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program. MIS was named the Green Generation Customer of the Year by Consumers Energy in 2015
MIS earned an energy efficiency incentive check from Consumers by completing lighting projects and for a building automation system upgrade in 2015. The track changed to energy-efficient LED lighting in the tunnel and for the exterior of the Administration building. The automation system for the Infield Suites building was upgraded to incorporate temperature setback and occupancy settings.
As a result, NASCAR recognized MIS as being an industry leader during the sport’s annual Green Summit in Chicago in 2015. 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.
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: