In a recent Huffington Post article, Kyle Rabin addresses the effects of climate change on the sport of hockey. As Gary Bettman stated in the foreword of the 2014 NHL Sustainability Report, the grassroots beginnings for the majority of players in the league often take place “on the frozen lakes and ponds of North America and Europe.” Among North American team sports, hockey is unique in its link to specific climatic conditions rooted in wintertime.
To address these issues, the NHL has initiated a comprehensive sustainability effort through the NHL Green program created in 2010 that is aimed at mitigating the impacts of hosting professional hockey games. The league’s Gallons for Goals program has replenished more than 30 million gallons of fresh water to rivers and streams since being introduced in 2011. In December, the NHL announced that it would work with energy provider Constellation to operate completely carbon neutral through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.
As Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, president of the Green Sports Alliance, said at the time of the announcement of the carbon-neutral program, the NHL’s efforts “influence other businesses and fans alike to embrace renewable energy options which are so desperately needed to protect our planet.”