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Beyond Sport United meeting to address concerns

Monday, 11.12.2012 / 1:20 PM | NHL Green

Beyond Sport United will bring together professionals in the sports industry Tuesday night in New York to discuss the business advantages of working to address specific community, social and environmental concerns through panels, speeches, workshops, interviews and other activities.

The NHL will be represented by 30 delegates who will participate in discussions addressing social inclusion, gender equality, health, education and more. The League is particularly concerned and involved in Beyond Sport's sustainability workshops and panels.

The Sustainability and the Environment Panel, facilitated by Martin Tull, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance, will discuss the current sustainability trends, technologies and initiatives which lessen the environmental impact of sports by reusing and recycling assets and reducing energy, water and waste consumption. The League has been a member of the Green Sports Alliance since July 2011.

Taking part in the conference as an NHL delegate will be Rich Sotelo, who is responsible for the oversight of the San Jose Sharks Building Operations Department. In the summer of 2007, Rich managed ambitious capital upgrades to HP Pavilion that included the new, multi-level LED scoreboard, a state-of-the-art sound system, acoustic panels, roof-rigging weight capacity increase, a new HDTV control room and an additional concourse level suite. More recently, Rich supervised the Bloom Energy Fuel Cell project in 2012. This sustainability initiative involved installation of fuel cell technologies, which replaced a significant amount of electricity used at HP Pavilion and provided a cleaner and more reliable energy source.

The Sustainability and the Environment Panel will include a second NHL delegate, Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) CEO Todd Reeve. Todd has more than 15 years of experience building partnerships and pursuing innovations around small-scale renewable energy projects, collaborative environmental solutions, watershed restoration and ecosystem services. Todd co-developed BEF's Water Restoration Certificate Program -- the first ever national-level program that allows water users everywhere to balance the amount of water used with an equal amount of water restored to a critically dewatered ecosystem.

The League launched the NHL Water Restoration Project with BEF in June 2011, focusing sustainability efforts on the issue of freshwater scarcity and its effect on fans, communities and the game of hockey. For Beyond Sport United 2012, BEF, on behalf of the NHL, has agreed to balance the water footprint associated with the event, specifically the estimated water usage for both Yankee Stadium and attendee hotel rooms.

Recently, BEF's Water Restoration Certificate program has expanded beyond the Pacific Northwest's critically dewatered ecosystem to include other states in the Western U.S. such as Colorado, Arizona and Utah, allowing the NHL to expand its restoration locations as well.

With help from Todd and Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the NHL developed Gallons for Goals for the 2011-12 NHL season. For every goal scored during the regular season, the League replenished the Middle Deschutes River in Oregon with 1,000 gallons of water. Through this initiative, the NHL restored 6.7 million gallons -- of the 18 million total gallons restored by the NHL Water Restoration project -- to North American watercourses.

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