9th annual Business Forum hosts MN Twins president

More than 200 business colleagues came out for the 9th annual Great River Greening Business Forum to hear featured guest speaker Twins President Dave St. Peter discuss the Minnesota Twins’ commitment to environmental stewardship. An audience Q&A followed, led by journalist and founder of i.e. network Rick Kupchella.

St. Peter’s is a fitting topic for The Business Forum, which benefits Great River Greening and has built a reputation among professionals to connect and converge on important environmental topics facing the business community. The event was a huge success, raising $13,000 in donations – $3,000 above goal – thanks to the generous guests in the attendance. It was held this year in late September at McNamara Alumni Center on the UMN campus.

St. Peter joked about the team’s slump but his tone turned to pride when speaking about “go Twins go green. ” The slogan led the way for Target Field – the first sports stadium to achieve a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification when it was built. The building was named the 2010 “Greenest Ballpark in America” and 2011 Sports Facility of the Year.

St. Peter said building it wasn’t the end. The following year, they sought and achieved LEED certification for operation and maintenance. The field’s rain water recycle system provides water for the grass and cleaning, saving two million gallons of water annually. The team is at also 85% of a 100% goal of recycling and composting consumer waste.

What’s more, locating the ballpark next to The Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC, or the “garbage burner”) offers waste-to-energy benefits: Steam from massive city-block-size incinerator is piped underneath Target Field, just below the grass, and makes it possible to keep the grass alive throughout Minnesota’s harsh winters.

St. Peter also made a strong case for business to invest in sustainable development. Reducing waste and conserving water and electric power resonates with young fans. Additionally, having a field within walking distance to Downtown has proved an amenity in the growing North Loop neighborhood, with mix-use development of new offices, condos, and retrofitted loft apartments, and Minnesota’s newest intermodal transit hub – Target Field Station.

The event was presented by Stoel Rives and Land O’ Lakes.