By Harriet Blake

The NFL Environmental Program has many irons in the fire for the Super Bowl. However, they are not in charge of making environmental policies for every team, says environmental leader Jack Groh.

patriots.gifThe teams and their owners are tackling these issues on their own. Some teams are investing in green initiatives, others have not quite gotten on the bandwagon. Here’s a look at what some of football’s finest are doing:

The New England Patriots, besides being a leading force on the field, are one of the NFL team leaders in green initiatives. Last November, they signed a four-year contract to purchase renewable energy credits from a Maryland windmill plant to match their electric usage at Gillette Stadium. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages companies to buy renewable energy credits that are sold by power plants that produce energy through renewable sources such as wind or sun. The Patriots are owned by the Kraft Group who will buy 2,400 megawatt hours of credits over four years through Constellation New Energy of Maryland.

The Philadelphia Eagles use a solar panel system made by PPL Corporation of Aeagles.gifllentown, Pa. The panels, which convert sunlight to electricity, were put into the training and practice facilities last summer. According to the Eagles’ website, the solar panels “are expected to produce 16,100 kilowatt hours, eliminating 26,400 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The amount of carbon emissions saved equates to planting 67 trees each year.”

The Detroit Lions were the first team to host what was dubbed as a “100-percent carbon neutral game” on Thanksgiving of 2007. The team and Ford Field joined forces with Carbon Credit Environmental Services to offset green house gases emissions by planting 150,000 trees.