NEW YORK (June 24, 2011) -- NHL Green, the National Hockey League’s sustainability initiative, today announced its commitment to fostering a healthy environment for fans, players and Club representatives at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The League, in partnership with Xcel Energy Center and the Minnesota Wild, has designed several ecological measures in furtherance of a common sustainable goal.
Prior to the first selection of the 2011 NHL Draft, Don Zinger, Chief of Staff of the Office of Air & Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will address all in attendance. Mr. Zinger will announce the NHL’s commitment to the EPA's ENERGY STAR and WasteWise programs, making it the first professional sports league to join either program. The EPA will then recognize the ongoing efforts in energy and waste reduction by the Xcel Energy Center and Minnesota Wild, acknowledging their commitment to the EPA WasteWise and ENERGY STAR programs.
Through Xcel Energy’s Windsource® for Special Events program, the League will offset 100 percent of electricity needs for the 2011 NHL Draft. The purchase of wind energy drives demand for green power while helping Xcel Energy Center work toward its goal to reduce its carbon footprint. Xcel Energy will track actual energy usage data to determine the final cost. The program was introduced to hockey by the facility earlier this year, when Wild players teamed up to purchase the renewable energy needed to power their game against the Red Wings on February 20.
In partnership with Como Zoo’s cell phone & small electronic recycling program, Draft attendees will have the opportunity to safely dispose of all personal, portable electronic devices. The used or unwanted items collected will be sent to Eco-Cell, and Como Zoo will receive funds for each donated device. The funds raised will go to orangutan conservation projects that help preserve one of the most critically endangered species on earth, the orangutan. Donating these items also prevents toxic batteries from harming our earth when land-filled and helps to reduce the need to mine coltlan, a mineral used in making cell phones that is often illegally mined in an area of Africa that is home to endangered gorillas. For more information, please visit: http://www.comozooconservatory.org/about/conservation.
In an effort to raise environmental awareness, 2011 NHL Draft t-shirts, featuring the NHL Green logo, will be sold at The Hockey Lodge at Xcel Energy Center. The shirts, designed by Reebok, are made from 100 percent organic cotton.
The City of Saint Paul has, once again, made a strong commitment to sustainability. On June 18, Visit Saint Paul launched SAINT PAUL: CODE GREEN. The program consists of QR Codes at 15 to 20 locations throughout the city including the Xcel Energy Center. When participants scan the QR Code with their Smartphone, they will receive a fun fact on local green initiatives, including information on some of the sustainable efforts at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Participants will automatically be entered to win an array of environmentally friendly prizes, from an energy efficient furnace to a high-end bicycle.
Getting to the Draft: NHL Green and Xcel Energy Center encourage the use of environmentally-friendly modes of transportation to and from the facility. Guests will be invited to park their hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle at one of twenty-five preferential parking spots located within the RiverCentre parking ramp. Spots will be designated by NHL Green signage, printed on reusable, renewable and 100% recyclable kraft paper honeycomb material. Recently, the Xcel Energy Center installed two electric car-charging stations on the premises that will also be available for use.
Metro Transit, the transportation resource for the Twin Cities, is offering free rides to all 2011 NHL Draft attendees. Fans can hop aboard one of seven Metro Transit routes which travel directly to Xcel Energy Center, providing a convenient and responsible alternative which eliminates congestion and reduces carbon emissions. To receive a free ride to the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, fans must simply present their valid Draft ticket to the driver upon boarding. Free rides are available two hours before the event until two hours after the event ends on June 24 and 25. Free rides are not available on the Northstar Commuter train.
Fans wishing to prevent emissions altogether can choose to ride a bicycle to the Draft. Xcel Energy Center, in an effort to make the facility more conducive to their most eco-conscious guests, has installed five new bicycle racks located strategically around the arena. With this installation, 10 times the previous amount of bicycle parking is now available on the premises.
The Facility: At the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Xcel Energy Center will expand the facility’s composting program to the 100 and 200 sections of the arena. Eight new containers, made from 100% recycled plastic, will be featured throughout the concourses. Since 2010, Xcel Energy Center has collected scraps for compost from the suite level and kitchens. In furtherance of this initiative, the facility has purchased biodegradable products, including cups and utensils, which can be placed into bins for compost instead of being thrown away.
In cooperation with Levy Restaurants and Saint Joseph Store House, all prepared but unserved concession food will be collected and redistributed to those in need as part of the NHL’s Food Recovery Initiative. Earlier this year, the Minnesota Wild received the Environmental Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 for rerouting nearly 7,500 pounds of food.
In 2009, Xcel Energy Center embarked on a two-year waste-reduction plan aiming to reduce trash on campus by 50% while increasing the annual recycling rate to 50%. Compared to the facility’s benchmark, set from July 2007 to June 2008, the campus has achieved both goals, attaining a 59% reduction in trash and a 50% recycling rate. In April 2010, Xcel Energy Center released an entirely new set of sustainable goals focused upon increased energy efficiency and a reduction of the facility’s carbon footprint. In just over one year, Xcel Energy Center has become 19.1% more efficient than an average building, based on regional averages for energy use per square foot. For more information on Xcel Energy Center’s sustainable initiatives, including waste and energy reports, please visit www.xcelenergycenter.com/sustainability.