When it comes to being green, Michigan International Speedway leads the way. NASCAR today recognized MIS as being an industry leader during the sport's annual Green Summit in Chicago, site of this weekend's start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The NASCAR Green track operator award recognizes those motorsports facilities for their ongoing contributions to developing effective and sustainable green policies and practices.
It's no surprise. MIS is looked at as one of the founders of moving the sport in a positive direction with its various green initiatives that have made a tremendous impact not only in Michigan, but around the country.
MIS annually introduces programs that have made an immediate impact on the environment.
"MIS takes great pride in knowing that our green initiatives have made a significant, positive impact to the environment and sport of auto racing, and we continue to do different things to move forward with those initiatives," track boss Roger Curtis said. "It's the right thing to do to protect our environment. Our brand at MIS is very much an environmentally friendly one."
All of the efforts have proved vastly important to maintaining a clean, safe and environmentally friendly facility to fans who visit MIS twice a year for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
But more, the speedway's surrounding communities also benefit.
Most recently, the speedway entered a thriving partnership with Adrian College to observe and analyze its vast acres of wetlands around the track property. Adrian College students have inventoried all plant, animal and insect species in designated areas, as well as regularly conduct water studies and identify invasive plant species.
Adrian College students have developed a field guide and self-guided tour book for visitors, many of whom are small children. Track and Explore sees hundreds of kids visit MIS to look at animals, plants and test water samples from the wetlands – all as part of fun, interactive school field trips. In addition, the partnership with Adrian College helps teach local students the importance of stewardship.
MIS worked with Ford to unveil a Fusion Energi Hybrid as the official pace car for the Quicken Loans 400 in June and Pure Michigan 400 in August. Together, the companies awarded that pace car to a fan.
The speedway has worked since 2008 with partners Schupan and Coca-Cola on a recycling program for its race weekends, collecting hundreds of thousands of pounds of aluminum and plastics from cans and bottles, among other things. MIS annually recycles cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, construction waste, electronic waste, batteries and motor oil after its events.
Fans have embraced their role in the speedway's recycling efforts. As avid outdoorsman, fishermen, campers and hikers, the guests at MIS understand the importance of recycling and its impact on the environment.
Additionally, MIS formed a partnership with NASCAR to plant trees on property and in communities around the speedway. Later this year, Adrian, Mich., will benefit from 45 trees donated to the city's parks through NASCAR's Race to Green program presented by UPS. Those trees will be delivered in October.
Additionally, the track's Pit Road Suites and Media Center, which opened in June 2010, has a 20 kW photovoltaic (solar panels) system, which offsets energy costs for the building used year-round.
MIS earned its Green Venues Michigan Leader Certification by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) for its ongoing conservation efforts.
MIS has also reduced waste by switching from printed hardcopies to electronic versions of documents such as track media guides, holiday cards and calendars.
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is NASCAR's fastest track and the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It's the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.
Keep up with Michigan International Speedway via Twitter @MISpeedway or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MISpeedway. Android and iPhone can now download Discover MIS, the official app of MIS, on Google Play and iTunes.
At a glance: MIS environmental efforts
Given its location in the lush Irish Hills area and with over 1,400 acres of property, Michigan International Speedway is at the front of green initiatives, implementing such programs as: