NFL Green wants Super Bowl to benefit Arizona community, environment

Oct 4, 2022, 4:15 AM
Director, NFL Environmental Program Jack Groh, associate director, NFL Environmental Program Susan ...
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 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 momentous as the Super Bowl, there will be lots of traffic coming to the greater Phoenix area from all over the world.

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

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

“One thing is how do we mitigate the environmental impacts? How do we lighten the footprint? … And the second thing is how do we create an enduring green legacy that we can leave behind in each community?”

The organization plants trees and pollinator gardens and 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’re also working with military veterans who will be removing some of the invasive apple snails that are destroying that habitat,” she said. “So they’ll be in the water pulling those snails out while volunteers are working to clean up the riverbed and river banks.”

NFL Green also has plans to positively impact the community away from the environmental side.

“We’re reaching out to about 100 schools that’ll donate books, sports equipment, school supplies and games,” Susan Groh said. “In January, they hold a big collection drive at their own school for new or gently used items and, on Jan. 26, we’ll have a big Super Kids event at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Phoenix.

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

NFL Green also works to make the same community impact with food recovery. There are several parties and events during and around the Super Bowl, with thousands of pounds of unused food. This organization works with local food banks and companies to recover that food and send it back into the community.

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

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

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NFL Green wants Super Bowl to benefit Arizona community, environment