BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference announced today that he will donate half of his 2008-09 playoff bonus to the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund's "Boston Grant Initiative." The total amount of the donation will depend on the Bruins’ success throughout the playoffs. The longer their postseason run, the greater the contribution from Ference.
"I wanted to make a donation to a local organization that will take direct action to benefit the community at the grassroots level and shared my interest in the environment," said Ference. "The more successful we are as a team during the Stanley Cup playoffs, the more of an impact the contribution will have on the Greater Boston community."
Ference is actively involved in a number of environmental causes and chose to contribute to an organization demonstrating the ability to have a profound positive impact on the environment within the Greater Boston area. The Boston Grant Initiative awards funding to groups working at the neighborhood or city level on environmental health, environmental justice or green space initiatives in Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, and Somerville. The program began in 2004 to support local activists in the Greater Boston Area. Over the past five years, it has awarded 90 grants ranging from $500 - $10,000 to support local environmental efforts.
In addition to this donation, Ference does all he can to help protect the environment both personally and professionally. He is a hybrid car owner, rides his bike to and from TD Banknorth Garden on game days, buys local organic foods and produce, and uses wind-powered electricity in his North End home. He is also a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to promote the use of public transportation.
Ference also spearheaded the NHL Players Association's Carbon Neutral Challenge. Through the Carbon Neutral Challenge - a partnership with the NHLPA and Canadian conservationist Dr. David Suzuki - players calculate their total amount of carbon emissions produced through hockey-related activities such as plane travel, road transportation, hotel stays, etc. and purchase Gold Standard Credits. These Gold Standard Credits are a type of carbon offset that puts money back into renewable energy projects. The players are investing in clean energy to compensate for their carbon emissions, which equals about 10 tons of carbon dioxide per player.
When Ference initially approached the NHLPA about the program he anticipated total participation between 50-60 players in the NHL. Today, going Carbon Neutral has become a league-wide project with 523 players choosing to participate. The donations each player contributes is the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road each year.