ORLANDO, Fla. (May 19, 2022) — Orlando City SC, the Orlando Pride and the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) are proud to team-up the Club’s first-ever Sustainability Week, which will take place from May 22-28. Nearly a year ago, the Club announced Exploria Stadium’s “Zero Waste Initiative” and are proud to have made strides in advancing and expanding that promise.
“We are excited to partner with OUC in our Club’s inaugural Sustainability Week,” said Jarrod Dillon, Orlando City and Orlando Pride’s president of business operations. “We are proud of the progress we have made at Exploria Stadium and honored to continue leading at the forefront of green initiatives in our community. Having OUC work alongside us is a great opportunity to provide sustainable and resource options to our fans and our community. We are excited for this upcoming week and look forward to working alongside our partners as we strive for a greener, zero waste future.”
“Sustainability Week presents OUC with a great opportunity to educate fans on how they can live more sustainably through conservation,” said Linda Ferrone, OUC Chief Customer & Marketing Officer. “OUC is committed to meeting its own sustainability goals, including reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, just as we are committed to helping our customers reduce their impact on the environment.”
Recently, the venue became the first in Orlando to sign OUC’s Solar Pledge, which vows to have the site become 100% solar powered by 2030. By accessing OUC’s solar power generation, an option available to all Solar Pledge participants, it is easier for Exploria Stadium to use maintenance-free solar energy without the costs associated with installing solar panels. More information on how community members can join the OUC Solar Pledge can be found here.
Additionally, the Club installed an onsite recycling system, with the venue continuing to maximize the number of recycled products through the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Exploria Stadium. Over the first four months of the calendar year, the MRF has diverted four tons of plastic, one ton of cardboard, a half ton of aluminum and five tons of food waste from landfills. Further, OUC has conducted an energy and water audit of Exploria Stadium to help the Club identify areas to improve efficiencies throughout the venue, which could lead to greener impacts that are also cost effective.
OVG Hospitality, Exploria Stadium’s concessionaire, has switched all plates, cups, napkins and utensils in premium areas to compostable materials, with recyclable, aluminum cups used for all draft beer concessions throughout the stadium.
Following matches, food waste is collected from the kitchen and concession stands and contributed to the City of Orlando's compost program, with the City of Orlando also donating compost in the matching weight of the Club’s total contribution to the Community Gardens built by the Orlando City Foundation. Additionally, prepared but undistributed food is donated after each match to local shelters and food kitchens to avoid sending food to landfill.
The Club’s three matches that week will also be presented by OUC, a local leader in the areas of sustainability, water conservation and solar initiatives. The week will kickoff on Saturday, May 22 with Orlando City’s road match at 2021 expansion side Austin FC. Following City’s away game, fans can make their way to Exploria Stadium that same night, where the Orlando Pride will host the Chicago Red Stars at 7 p.m. ET, presented by OUC.
At that match, fans can see Exploria Stadium’s Zero Waste Initiatives firsthand. While onsite, fans can learn more about the Stadium’s Zero Waste Initiatives through PSA signage that is placed in key-sustainability areas such as restrooms, concession areas and garbage/recycling bins. The “Green Team” is also located throughout the venue to assist in educating guests on these efforts.
The week will wrap with the Lions returning home, where the Club will sport their annual PRIMEBLUE jerseys against FC Dallas, special-edition kits that are made of a high-performance yarn featuring 50% Parley Ocean Plastic. That match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET. Both City matches will air locally on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV, while the Pride game will be available domestically on Paramount+ and internationally on Twitch.
Fans looking to take action in the local community are invited to join volunteers from the Club on Saturday, May 21 with the annual Parramore Community Cleanup & Beautification. More information on how to get involved can be found at the link here.
Tickets to all Orlando City matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com, while Pride tickets can be found at Orlando-Pride.com.