From creating a cleaner air environment to forming windbreaks that stabilize the soil, planting trees is a sustainable effort that all Nebraskans are encouraged to participate in this Arbor Day. Also joining this sustainable effort again this year is American Ethanol through its partnership with NASCAR® and its NASCAR Green initiative.
The goal of the NASCAR Green initiative is to reduce the sport’s environmental footprint by championing sustainable behaviors to their millions of fans. The NASCAR Green initiative has grown into some of the largest renewable energy projects in the world. Leading the way is NASCAR’s highly successful biofuels program. Four years ago the sport kicked off this program by committing to use Sunoco Green E15, a fuel blended with 15 percent American-made ethanol from American-grown corn. The Clean Air program is another notable NASCAR Green initiative where American Ethanol has committed to planting 10 trees for every American Ethanol green flag waved in all three NASCAR racing series.
“NASCAR has the largest sustainability platform in professional sports and American Ethanol is a key part of the sport’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Jon Holzfaster, a farmer from Paxton, Nebraska, director on the Nebraska Corn Board and chairman of National Corn Growers NASCAR Advisory Committee. “American Ethanol and trees offer a great one-two punch for the environment. The massive tree planting effort, combined with the more than seven million miles these high-performance cars have raced on American Ethanol, has helped the sport reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 percent.”
Through the course of one mature tree’s lifetime, it absorbs one metric ton of carbon dioxide –the same amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series® car driving 500 miles.
In 2014, the 14.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced in the United States reduced greenhouse gas emission on our roads and highways by 40 million metric tons. That’s equivalent to removing 8.4 million cars from the road.
NASCAR Green initiative includes everything from recycling racing tires and engine oil, to cleaning up emissions by planting trees and using 15 percent ethanol fuel blend, made from American grown corn.
To date, NASCAR Green’s Clean Air Tree Planting Program has planted 371,607 trees. This is enough to completely offset carbon emissions for all three NASCAR national racing series for the past five years plus the next 40 years.
“Nebraska can especially celebrate this accomplishment in April with our unique commemoration of Arbor Day, which began in Nebraska,” said Kim Clark, director of biofuels development for the Nebraska Corn Board. “This year marks the 144th anniversary of Arbor Day which is a Nebraska tradition to promote the ideals of community life and conservations of natural resources through the planting of trees. There is no better connection than to celebrate corn farmers’ commitment to the environment with their support of American Ethanol and Arbor Day in planting trees.”
American Ethanol is a partnership with National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) supported by corn checkoff investments and ethanol plant members of Growth Energy.