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NHL Green Month Highlighted by 2018 Sustainability Report

by NHL Public Relations

2018.03.28-NHL 2018 Susty Report-IMAGE

During its first-ever NHL Green month, celebrating an ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, the National Hockey League today published the 2018 Sustainability Report, the second installment following the first-ever report of its kind in 2014. The 2018 report, available on NHL.com/Green, assesses the League’s environmental impact and its commitment to ensure all levels of hockey – on frozen ponds, community rinks, or in-arena – thrive for future generations.

Highlighted in the report is the NHL Greener Rinks Initiative (NHL.com/GreenerRinks), a League-wide program launched in 2016. With approximately 4,800 indoor ice rinks across North America at an average age of 30 years, the initiative measures and evaluates their environmental impact. Modern-day NHL arenas use more environmentally-friendly energy sources, including solar power, fuel cell technology, waste water recapture and reuse, and geothermal technologies. The NHL Greener Rinks Initiative aims to help rink operators make similar, sustainable business decisions in their aging community rinks while also reducing energy and operating costs to keep more rinks operational and increase access to the game.

The report also highlights RinkWatch, a research initiative launched in 2013 by two professors from Wilfred Laurier University. The program brings together participants from across North America who share a love for outdoor hockey. Participants are asked to track and monitor backyard rinks, ponds, and winter weather conditions to assist with the study of long-term impacts of climate change. To date, more than 1,400 outdoor rinks and ponds have been tracked and monitored. Fans are encouraged to participate; those interested can visit RinkWatch.org to join the movement.

A microsite featuring highlights from the 2018 Sustainability Reportalso is available on NHL.com/Green. In partnership with the National Environment Education Foundation (NEEF), the microsite includes interactive components focused on engaging youth with sustainability activities, tools, and resources. Educators and families can visit the microsite and learn how to conduct an energy audit of their school or home, calculate their water footprint, or plant a pollinator garden.

The 2018 report follows the pledge made in September’s Declaration of Principles that states: Hockey should be an enjoyable family experience; all stakeholders – organizations, players, parents, siblings, coaches, referees, volunteers and rink operations – play a role in this effort. The full report details the League-wide effort to innovate at NHL arenas, transform the hockey community through environmental collaboration, inspire communities to act, and encourage fans to get involved.

The League-wide results in the report, aligned with NHL Green month celebrations, covers various aspects concerning the environment, including water restoration, landfill reduction, efficient electricity use, sustainable landscaping, and increased recycling. Highlights include:

— A waste diversion rate of 32 percent due to composting, improved concessions forecasting, and enhanced waste tracking, with half of NHL arenas currently composting their own waste. The NHL has set a goal to increase this rate to 50 percent within the next five years.

— A 1-percent reduction of energy consumption from 1,237,000 mmbtu in FY14 to 1,252,000 mmbtu in FY16 by using more efficient lighting, enhanced building management systems, waste heat recapture technologies, and onsite renewable energy generation.

— An approximate 7-percent decrease in water consumption from FY15 to FY16, with continued efforts League-wide to find water-stress solutions including fixture upgrades in arenas, minimizing consumption in water towers, and installation of smart sensors on water irrigation systems.

— Throughout the NHL Centennial year, fans donated 4,245 pounds of equipment (more than 2,000 items), including helmets, skates, and pads. This equipment avoids landfills and gets repurposed back into the community.

— A 2-percent year-over-year reduction in CO2 emissions from FY14 to FY16 – from 189,503 to 182,355 metric tons – through innovations and efficiencies.

— 963,200 megawatt hours of energy counterbalanced since 2014 through the investment of renewable energy credits, generated from U.S. wind and Canadian biomass.

Since its launch in 2010, NHL Green has been committed to promoting green business practices across the League as well as preserving the environment, including the frozen ponds that inspired and cultivated the game more than 100 years ago. As part of NHL Green month, all 31 NHL Clubs have continued to lead a variety of sustainability initiatives in their local markets. For more information, visit NHL.com/Green. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #NHLGreen.

View the full story here.

Concerns About Ice, Environment Spur NHL to Fight Climate Change by Thinking Green

Erik Brady, USA Today Sports

(Photo: The Associated Press)

(Photo: The Associated Press)

Hockey features glove saves, skate saves and stick saves — though these are nothing, really, next to the most audacious save on which the NHL has set its sights:

Save the planet.

This may sound like a joke, at first. What does hockey have to do with environmental policy? Well, for one thing, the game is played on ice. And frozen ponds, where so many of the league’s players learned to skate, are in trouble. The average length of the skating season may shrink by a third in eastern Canada and by 20% in western Canada in coming decades.

That’s according to research in the NHL’s 2018 sustainability report, which will be released Wednesday morning. The report assesses the league’s own environmental impact and its commitment to fighting climate change.

“What I would say is when we do this work, we try to do it as apolitically as possible,” says Omar Mitchell, NHL vice president for corporate social responsibility, “because at the end of the day, as our commissioner would say, this is the right thing to do.”

More than a dozen federal agencies issued a report late last year that said humans are the dominant cause of a rise in global temperatures that has led to the warmest period in the history of civilization. That report said global average temperatures have increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 115 years.

That’s a period of time that encompasses the rise of hockey. The NHL celebrated its centennial in 2017 — and wants to be around for its bicentennial some 100 years hence.

“How we think about our environment and how we think about sustainability is going to be a critical element in making sure our sport has a future,” says Kim Davis, NHL executive vice president of social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs.

According to last year’s Environment Gallup Poll Social Series survey, 59% of Americans agreed that protection of the environment should be given priority even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies, up from 41% who agreed in 2011. And 56% said protection of the environment should be prioritized over economic growth.

The NHL’s report is voluntary. “And what gives the report its teeth is that we did a carbon inventory” of the league’s own environmental impact, Mitchell says. “Hockey is a very energy-intensive sport. Our analysis shows about 66% of our carbon footprint is attributed to energy usage to create an ice sheet. So what we are trying to do is to promote innovations that will lower energy consumption within our buildings.”

Read the full story here.

March Marks NHL’s Sustainability Initiative

The Hockey Writers
By Aaron Schmidtke

Gary Bettman has been a very outspoken advocate for environmentally-friendly initiatives. (Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE)

Gary Bettman has been a very outspoken advocate for environmentally-friendly initiatives. (Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE)

Organizations and associations around the world have shifted their focus to environmentally-friendly initiatives that incorporate their values with those of green business practices.

While the majority of sports associations have been hesitant, the National Hockey League pounced on the opportunity to build relationships and partnerships with several ecological companies.

The NHL is the first professional sports league in North America to issue a sustainability report, documenting and disclosing its carbon footprint. It is also the only sports league to make the Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 100 list.

In 2010, the league launched NHL Green, an initiative that targets environmental sustainability throughout the sport.

Just a year later, the NHL partnered with Green Sports Alliance, which leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities.

“Imagine if all sports participated in the support and the advancement of renewal power in North America? The NHL has already proven that’s possible,” said Green Sports Alliance Executive Director Justin J. Zeulner.

All 31 NHL clubs are members of the Green Sports Alliance. The non-profit organization is assisting teams to actively contribute to combating climate change and encourage energy efficiency.

Read the full story here.

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