We all know that the Baltimore Ravens are tough competitors on the field, but off the field, they are also making great strides to make a cleaner, stronger and healthier Maryland. As part of the team’s GamePlanEarth program, the Ravens have switched to clean, renewable energy, and earned the country’s first LEED Gold certification for an existing professional sports stadium.

“We want to be good team and community players, and by reducing our carbon footprint, it helps everyone in the Baltimore area,” says Roy Sommerhof, senior vice president of stadium operations for the Ravens.

The Ravens have upgraded to energy-efficient lighting, switched to waterless urinals and also plan to install a solar energy system at the team’s training center in Owings Mills, Maryland. These changes have led to significant savings. The stadium now saves about 40,000 gallons of water and $400,000 every year in utilities costs, according to Jeff Provenzano with the Maryland Stadium Authority.

“That’s $400,000 for the State of Maryland, and also equal to about a rookie’s salary,” Provenzano says.

Ravens players further help the community improve the environment, quality of life and health of residents by planting trees in Baltimore.

“The tree planting effort gets our players involved,” Sommerhof says. “It alerts the people in our community as to how important that is to be in touch with sustaining what we have here in Baltimore and making Baltimore a better place to live.”

The team hopes that these efforts help inspire fans to take similar measures.

“This is important to the Ravens, and if it’s important to us, hopefully [fans] will take that home and it’ll be important to them,” Sommerhof says.

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