The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is set to honor leaders in professional sports for their environmental efforts at the organization’s Game Changer Awards Gala on Thursday, March 14th in New York.
The event will be co-chaired by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, along with the Commissioners of the MLB, NBA, and MLS.
The NRDC provides fundamental support to the NHL in the League's ever-expanding commitment to ecological responsibility. Through the NRDC’s environmental initiatives and collaborations across all professional sports, the industry has avoided emitting millions of pounds of greenhouse gasses and conserved millions of gallons of water, all while saving millions of dollars and invaluable natural resources.
In a special to Huffington Posts’ Green Blog, Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist at the NRDC said, “The sports industry's growing embrace of energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling, water conservation, safer chemicals and healthier food gives me hope that our culture will indeed mobilize effectively to address our urgent ecological issues.”
“With its unique cultural influence the sports industry is leading by example, not waiting for government to act, and demonstrating to thousands of businesses and millions of people from all walks of life how to be better environmental stewards.”
The NRDC is one of the nation’s most effective environmental actions groups, and has been an invaluable partner in the National Hockey League’s sustainability initiatives since 2008, when NRDC assembled NHL Greening Advisors for each Club. The NRDC's support was integral to the official launch of NHL Green, on New Year's Day 2010. Since that time, the NRDC has assisted the NHL in creating more sustainable League events; developed guides for installing renewable energy systems at arenas; and produced PSAs to showcase the League’s commitment to addressing important environmental issues (watch below).
Hershkowitz added, “In my opinion, given the desperate need to protect the planet - from polar bears and their ice floes to our own communities, playgrounds and backyards - this cultural shift being led by the sports industry is happening not a moment too soon.”
To learn more on the greening of professional sports, visit NRDC's "Greening the Games" portal.