NFL Green wants Super Bowl to benefit Arizona community and environment

Director, NFL Environmental Program Jack Groh, Associate Director, NFL Environmental Program Susan Groh, President, PepsiCo Beverages North America West Division Johannes Evenblij and Director, FORCE BLUE Jim Ritterhoff attend NFL, Pepsi Stronger Together and FORCE BLUE Restore Football Field-Sized Kelp Forest at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium on January 24, 2022 in San Pedro, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Pepsi Stronger Together)

(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Pepsi Stronger Together)

With an event as big as the Super Bowl, there will be a lot of traffic from all over the world in the greater Phoenix area.

While the focus is on making the event itself entertaining, the NFL is taking steps to ensure the community and environment are properly taken care of, said directors of NFL Green, Jack and Susan Groh, to Dave Burns. KTAR News 92.3 Super Bowl Host Committee Show.

“NFL Green is the brand of the NFL’s sustainability platform,” said Jack Groh. “Around our special events, we look at the elements of sustainability.

“One thing is how do you mitigate environmental impacts? How do we lighten the footprint? …And the second thing is how do we create a lasting green legacy that we can leave in every community? »

The organization plants trees and pollinator gardens and has done habitat restoration work in the past. Susan Groh said the team in Arizona will use hundreds of volunteers to clean up the lower Salt River.

“We are also working with military veterans who will eliminate some of the invasive apple snails that are destroying this habitat,” she said. “So they will be in the water removing these snails while volunteers work to clean up the river bed and banks.”

NFL Green also plans to have a positive impact on the community away from the environmental side.

“We are reaching out to about 100 schools to donate books, sports equipment, school supplies and games,” said Susan Groh. “In January they are having a big drive up at their own school for new or lightly used items and on January 26th we will have a big Super Kids event at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Phoenix.

“It’s not uncommon for us to collect between 20,000 and 50,000 items in an hour.”

NFL Green also strives to have the same impact on the community with food recovery. There are multiple parties and events during and around the Super Bowl, with thousands of pounds of food leftover. This organization works with local food banks and businesses to collect this food and return it to the community.

“If you’re having a big party, you never want to run out of food, so you’re over-preparing,” Susan Groh said. “Right after the Super Bowl, we’ll have our partners there to collect [unserved food] and bring them into the community immediately.

“We reach out to all event managers…It’s not unusual for a Super Bowl to raise tens of thousands of pounds of food and feed up to 50,000 people.”

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