Monthly Archives: March 2016

54 AEG Facilities-Affiliated Venues Go Dark For Earth Hour

Los Angeles, CA (March 22, 2016) – On March 19th, 2016, 54 AEG Facilities-affiliated stadiums, arenas, theatres, clubs and convention centers in 27 cities, eight countries and four continents joined millions of people and organizations worldwide in “going dark” for World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour, a worldwide grassroots movement uniting people to protect the planet. From 8:30 to 9:30 PM, dozens of facilities turned off non-essential lights and utilized signage and social media to help spread the message of Earth Hour. These venues took action as part of a global Earth Hour campaign organized by AEG 1EARTH, AEG’s industry-leading corporate sustainability program. In addition to these public events, AEG engaged employees worldwide to learn about Earth Hour and participate in the office or at home.

Earth Hour is an annual event designed to engage millions of people worldwide on a broad range of environmental issues. Individuals, communities, households, and businesses are encouraged to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Each year, more than 7,000 cities show their support for environmental issues by participating in Earth Hour.


“We’re thrilled to have so many AEG facilities participating in Earth Hour again this year,” said John Marler, AEG’s Senior Director of Energy and Environment. “It’s a testament to our global commitment to reducing our environmental impact and using our platform to raise awareness of important environmental issues.”

WWF’s Earth Hour is just one of the annual events that AEG 1EARTH activates throughout AEG Facilities’ portfolio of world-class venues. In addition to Earth Hour, AEG Facilities venues participate in Earth Month, America Recycles Day and other community based environmental initiatives. In support of AEG 1EARTH’s mission to reduce the organization’s environmental impact and drive business value through sustainability, AEG venues achieved several environmental milestones in recent months:

  • At a ceremony attended by former Vice President Al Gore, STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California unveiled 500 kilowatts of Bloom Energy fuel cells, which will generate electricity on-site and help reduce the arena’s carbon footprint
  • Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy announced Protect the Pitch, a new sustainability initiative dedicated to reducing the team’s environmental impact, supporting environmental projects in the community, and inspiring fans to help create healthier, more sustainable communities
  • Oracle Arena in Oakland, California achieved LEED certification, the pre-eminent global green building certification
  • Los Angeles Convention Center was re-certified as LEED Gold, making the LACC the largest convention center in the U.S. to receive LEED EBOM Gold recertification

Learn more here.


LA Galaxy Launch Protect The Pitch Initiative

CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, March 17, 2016) – The LA Galaxy announced today the launch of Protect The Pitch, a club-wide environmental sustainability initiative. Protect the Pitch will focus on reducing the environmental impact of LA Galaxy games and practices at StubHub Center, supporting environmental projects in our community, and inspiring fans to help create healthier, more sustainable communities.


As part of Protect the Pitch, the Galaxy will continue to implement various efforts designed to engage the community, save water, conserve energy, and reduce waste while involving and encouraging the Galaxy fan base to support these efforts.

Additionally, StubHub Center and the LA Galaxy will participate in the world Earth Hour Celebration this Saturday, March 19, during the Galaxy’s match against San Jose Earthquakes by lowering the lighting level or turning off the lights in all the suites and Stadium Club. Earth Hour is officially from 8:30-9:30 p.m. PT. All guests in StubHub Center suites will be encouraged to shut off lights for the hour.

Read the full article here.

Every Week Is NHL Green Week

IMG_0185brAllen Hershkowitz, Ph.D.
Green Sports Alliance

The NHL dubbed last week “NHL Green Week.” However, the fact is that the NHL promotes and practices responsible environmental stewardship all year-round. At the NHL, every week is Green Week, so there is much to celebrate. Since its inception, NHL Green has achieved many ecologically meaningful accomplishments.

There is much to acknowledge and admire about the work of NHL Green. To begin with, this month we celebrate all 30 NHL clubs becoming members of the Green Sports Alliance. What a compelling expression of the NHL’s commitment to environmental stewardship that is! NHL teams from all regions throughout North America have all come together as Green Sports Alliance members, in common agreement that taking care of our shared planet is the responsibility of all of us, including professional hockey.

There is much more: The NHL was the first (and remains the only) professional sports league to produce a sustainability report. NHL Green was able to produce that report because the league spent years developing an environmental data-gathering program so that its arenas could measure energy and water use, waste generation and recycling. Moreover, the NHL’s 2015 collaboration with Constellation Energy to offset the carbon emissions of all NHL games and operations, and to identify efficiency enhancement opportunities at NHL venues, was an important energy efficiency initiative that confirmed the sponsorship potential of sustainability in sports.

The NHL is the only sports league mandating the donation of prepared uneaten food at the arenas in which its games are played. Poverty alleviation is surely part of any vision of sustainability and the NHL is leading by example on that issue. Through its “Gallons For Goals” collaboration with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation the NHL supports the largest watershed restoration project of any sports league in the world. And while sports leagues tend to stay away from political policy debates, in 2012 Craig Harnett, the NHL’s Sr EVP and CFO appeared before the Congressional Bi-Cameral Committee on Climate Change to encourage government action on that critical issue. For its excellent environmental work the NHL has won awards from the EPA and other organizations. In 2014 the Commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, was awarded the Green Sports Alliance’s Environmental Leadership Award, the top environmental award in the world of sports.

In listing the accomplishments of NHL Green in North America we might mistakenly overlook the global influence of what the NHL has accomplished: By changing the culture of the NHL, NHL Green has changed the culture sports, and by changing the culture of sports, making it more environmentally aware, NHL Green has helped to change the world. In North America NHL Green has helped de-politicize the discussion surrounding climate change. It has inspired other professional sports leagues in the USA and elsewhere to develop greening programs, and it has taken its message to the companies that make up its supply chain. And the NHL has taken its greening message to international audiences: I saw that first hand at the Paris COP21 climate negotiations where Omar Mitchell, the NHL’s Director of Sustainability, made compelling environmental presentations to audiences in Paris (streamed worldwide) comprised of business and sports industry representatives from throughout the world.

Accomplishing these things, building ecological sustainability into the mainstream culture of the National Hockey League, takes a lot of work, resources, dedicated staff and, especially, support from the league’s leadership. I know this because I’ve worked with NHL Green since its inception. When we worked on developing the NHL’s Sustainability Report there was no model to work from because no other sports league had ever produced such a report. Mobilizing 30 arena operators to share operational data, being transparent about what the NHL could and could not verify, was a very resource intensive effort, and yet, it was accomplished in a relatively short amount of time, in just a few years.

Why has NHL Green been so successful? An organization is the shadow of its leadership and, needless to say, NHL Green would not exist without the active support of Commissioner Gary Bettman. NHL Green is empowered by the commitment and stature of Commissioner Bettman, a true environmental champion. Though it seems to be an enviable job, it’s challenging to be Commissioner of a professional sports league. There are so many competing obligations. There are so many opportunities to explain why a Commissioner does not have to time to prioritize environmental stewardship. That is not the story of Gary Bettman. Commissioner Bettman is without doubt among the most committed environmental champions in the history of sports, and the success of NHL Green reflects his commitment.

In 2011, Commissioner Bettman appeared on a nationally televised CNN show to make the case that sports venues should consider installing solar arrays because of the risks we face from climate change. In fact, to this day, Commissioner Bettman remains the only professional sports league Commissioner to express on television his league’s concerns about climate change and the need to shift to renewable energy. Commissioner Bettman’s early endorsement of the Green Sports Alliance was instrumental in giving us legitimacy with sports leagues and teams throughout North America. The fact that the Green Sports Alliance has emerged as the most influential environmental organization in the world of sports has much to do with Commissioner Bettman’s visionary and legitimizing endorsement of our work since the day we were founded.

The commitment of the NHL to environmentally responsible operations provides us with hope. The NHL has reduced millions of pounds of carbon emissions and expanded food donations. NHL venues are incorporating ecologically healthy food menus, developing recycling and composting programs, installing energy efficient technologies and using safer chemicals.

Can the NHL save the planet on its own? No, of course it cannot. But the NHL can and has been moving the powerful sports industry towards ecologically healthy practices. In so doing NHL Green is shifting market and cultural attitudes towards the more sustainable practices we urgently need to adopt if life on Earth is to continue.

More information on NHL Green here.

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