Although on-track competition and the arrival of the Generation-6 cars earlier this year dominated the NASCAR headlines, the sanctioning body has made a pronounced push in recent years to be more environmentally responsible.
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On Monday, NASCAR reaffirmed its green initiative by promoting Dr. Michael Lynch from managing director to the position of vice president, green innovation. In his new role, Lynch will continue to “champion the adoption and implementation of sustainability practices across the sport.”
According to a release issued Monday morning, in the five years Lynch has been with the sanctioning body, NASCAR has recycled more than 20 million bottles and cans; 600,000 race tires; and enough oil to power the Empire State Building for one year. It has also planted enough trees (188,000) to completely offset carbon emissions for all NASCAR national series racing for the past five years of NASCAR Green, plus the next 18 years.
NASCAR’s Daytona Beach, Fla., headquarters is LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environment Design) Gold certified, while NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C., has its LEED Silver certification.
The green movement has been one of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France’s pet projects and he hired Lynch in 2008 to lead NASCAR Green.
“We knew that going green was not only the right thing to do, it was also good for business,” said France. “In the process of creating programs and implementing changes to help make our sport more environmentally friendly, Mike has also helped generate commercial opportunities for the entire industry through partnerships with more than two dozen organizations interested in using NASCAR as a platform to uniquely validate their technologies.”
Before joining NASCAR, Lynch was an executive at Tyco International and Boston Consulting Group and a tenured professor at Purdue University. Lynch has several patents in green technology and for a time was a professional musician, playing tenor saxophone.
Lynch’s promotion was the latest in a busy off-season of executive management movement at NASCAR.
Last week, former General Motors executive Brent Dewar was named chief operating officer of NASCAR.
In addition, Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, was promoted to executive vice president, while Steve O’Donnell, senior vice president, racing operations, was named to executive vice president. The company’s general counsel, Gary Crotty, was promoted to chief legal officer/general counsel.