Composting, Food Donations, Reusable Cups, and Climate Action Puts Sustainability Goals at the Core of MLS’ Newest Club
CITYPARK, the home of St. Louis CITY SC, will open its inaugural season as a zero-waste stadium. All waste generated will either be reduced, reused, recycled or composted. CITY’s commitment to sustainability includes eliminating single-use consumer plastics, recycling and composting, comprehensive energy efficiency and water conservation initiatives, and partnering with food donation programs. For the past three years, CITY has been building the “Our CITY” sustainability program which calls upon CITY’s suppliers, partners, fans, and staff to reduce landfill waste, conserve resources, and to measure and report key sustainability operating metrics.
“We want CITYPARK to be an inspiration to our community, of how it is possible to embrace waste reduction and conservation practices in our work and homes,” said Carolyn Kindle, President and CEO of CITY. “St. Louis is a region of rivers and agricultural innovation. We have a great opportunity to remind our partners, fans, and neighbors that our future is our responsibility,” said Kindle.
CITY has recruited commercial and nonprofit partners who share the team’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Stadium concessionaire and operations partners Levy Restaurants and ASM Global, are working with vendors and CITYPARK’s 100% local restaurant partners to reduce single-use consumer plastic waste wherever feasible by switching to compostable service ware and reusable aluminum cups. Beverage partner PepsiCo, Inc. and official beer partner Anheuser-Busch also embraced CITY’s vision to reduce plastic waste by serving beer and non-alcoholic beverages in highly recyclable CITY signature aluminum cans and cups.
What has really inspired us is how St. Louis CITY has been committed to consumer waste reduction and food rescue from the start and the efforts to weave it into every aspect of stadium operations are set to make a significant impact,” said Amy Keister, Global Director of Sustainability, Compass Group, a global leader in food service sustainability who has consulted with CITYPARK through the evolution of Our CITY. “Taking this approach isn’t always easy, but it’s a way to lead by example and rally the community to make a difference.”
CITYPARK also hosts a compost sorting and collection center on its pitch level to help capture food and biodegradable waste onsite. Operation Food Search, a local non-profit organization, will work with Levy to recover prepared but uneaten food from restaurant partners after matches and events for food bank distribution centers serving the St. Louis region.
“We are thrilled to work with St. Louis CITY SC to reduce food waste and further address food insecurity in the region,” said Operation Food Search President and CEO Kristen Wild. “We estimate that this partnership will allow us to divert 3000 pounds per year of food from landfills to families’ tables, thanks to the commitment of STL CITY, their restaurant partners, and their fans.”
Other features within the Our CITY program include reducing water resources wherever feasible, relying on renewable energy sources, operating energy efficient mechanical and electrical equipment in CITYPARK, identifying more sustainable janitorial and landscape practices, and encouraging environmentally preferable transportation options. CITY’s ownership group invested in the second segment of the pedestrian and bike greenway - Brickline Greenway - built along the stadium’s southern side. CITYPARK’s campus includes over 100 bike parking spots and 27 electric car charging stations in its adjacent parking garage. CITYPARK also is accessible by light rail and bus through Metro Transit. CITY is a proud member of the Green Sports Alliance.
Additionally, CITY is encouraging fans to take the Our CITY pledge, designed to encourage fans to practice waste reduction and recycling at our matches and in their everyday lives. Fans can take the pledge by going to stlcitysc.com/OURCITY.
CITYPARK is a $485 million, 22,500-seat soccer specific stadium privately built by the organization’s majority female-led ownership group in St. Louis’ Downtown West. The 31-acre urban district is the nation’s largest urban sports campus and the only one to contain a team’s headquarters, training facility and practice fields, and stadium and community space in one downtown location. CITYPARK was built to fit snugly in the neighborhood, with open views on all four sides and an aluminum canopy specially designed to keep sounds and light inside. Designed by architects Julie Snow and HOK, CITYPARK was inspired by the Midwestern home, open and welcoming to the neighborhood. CITYPARK also includes a large public plaza on the stadium’s eastern side for pre-match gatherings and city festivals.