The NHL’s 2014 Sustainability Report is the first of its kind for the League and indeed for professional sports organisations on a global scale. It addresses head-on the connection between hockey and the environment, and the impact the NHL has on the planet.
As reported on NHL.com, it is in everyone’s “best interest to confront this challenge, to be transparent with our impacts and to discuss and explore with all of our stakeholders a strategy for long-term environmental sustainability”.
The League’s NHL Green initiative started in earnest in 2010 with the assistance of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, the NRDC’s leading champion for sustainability in sports. Working together with their 30 Member Clubs, some of which already had robust environmental initiatives prior to 2010, the NHL embarked on a journey toward greater sustainability.
In this report, the League puts forth their first carbon inventory, which details the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the many facets of NHL operations, including energy and water use, waste and travel. It acknowledges that NHL hockey games are energy intensive and also that the geographic locations of their Clubs require a substantial amount of travel over the course of a season. Like the other professional sports, these business operations affect the air we breathe and our supplies of clean, fresh water. The NHL is determined to address these environmental challenges without sacrificing the integrity of the game.
While the League has made some progress to date, they do concede there is still much to do. The NHL’s plan for the years ahead is to capture additional data and information related to the impacts of their business and to create meaningful goals to reduce those impacts. They also state it is their objective to raise the level of environmental-consciousness among fans of NHL and their arena operators, and also encourage improvements within their Clubs’ buildings, operations, employees, partners, vendors, fans and communities.
The full report can be found online at: http://www.nhl.com/green/report/