American Ethanol, Arbor Day races to put more green in spring

By Nebraska Corn Board | April 21, 2014

During the month of April, the Nebraska Corn Board, in cooperation with the National Corn Growers Association, will join NASCAR in kicking off its second year of the NASCAR Race to Green Campaign. The campaign is intended to highlight the environmental accomplishments of green programs put in place by NASCAR and its partners like American Ethanol.

The goal of NASCAR Race to Green is to highlight the accomplishments of NASCAR Green programs like the move three years ago to Sunoco Green E15, a fuel blended with 15 percent American Ethanol.  In the month of April, American Ethanol has committed to planting 50 trees for every American Ethanol green flag waved in all three NASCAR racing series. 

“American Ethanol is a key part of NASCAR’s efforts to reduce the sport’s carbon footprint,” said Jon Holzfaster, a Paxton, Neb. farmer-director on the Nebraska Corn Board and chairman of NCGA’s NASCAR Advisory Committee.  “These high- performance cars have put more than five million tough competition miles on E15 in the last three years, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. Combine this with the massive tree planting effort underway, and the results are phenomenal.”

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. “American Ethanol and trees offer a great one-two punch for the environment,” said Holzfaster.

American Ethanol is a partnership with NCGA supported by corn checkoff investments and ethanol plant members of Growth Energy. In 2013, the 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced in the United States reduced greenhouse gas emission on our roads and highways by 38 million metric tons.  That’s equivalent to removing 8 million cars from the road.

NASCAR Green, the largest sustainability effort in professional sports, includes everything from recycling of racing tires and engine oil to cleaning up the emissions by using 15 percent ethanol fuel blend, made from American grown corn.

To date, NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program Delivered by UPS has planted 188,000 trees. This is enough to completely offset carbon emissions for all three NASCAR national racing series for the past five years of NASCAR Green, plus the next 18 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 on the Nebraska Corn Board. “This year marks the 140th 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.”