NEW YORK, NY – The National Hockey League today announced the release of the 2014 NHL Sustainability Report, the first document of its kind produced by a major sports league in North America. The report highlights the numerous programs, benchmarks, and successes that have increased the overall sustainability of the League, Member Clubs, and their arenas.
The report showcases NHL Green™, the comprehensive, high-impact environmental sustainability initiative that was established in 2010 by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to promote green business practices across the League.
Among the goals of NHL Green: to reduce the use of natural resources in business operations, to track and measure the environmental impact of the sport and to inspire fans and partners to commit to environmental stewardship.
Significant to the report is the disclosure of the League's carbon footprint – approximately 530,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This carbon emissions number accounts for League and Club business activities and travel for over 182 game days, 1,230 regular-season games, over 60 playoff contests and nearly 2 million miles of team air travel per season. By way of comparison, the annual emissions from the single largest coal power plant in the United States totals 23 million metric tons.
"At the NHL, we recognize that we have great responsibility for the way we conduct our business, and we are uniquely positioned to promote the environmental message," Commissioner Bettman said. "Today, we join many of our business partners who have for years been documenting their emissions and making progress toward their own sustainability goals."
The NHL authored the report with guidance from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) led by Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Head of NRDC's Green Sports program. The NRDC has been the NHL's primary environmental strategic advisor since the formation of NHL Green.
"The 2014 NHL Sustainability Report is arguably the most important statement about the environment ever issued by a professional sports league," Hershkowitz said. "The Report's focus on controlling fossil-fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions is a mainstream wake-up call that climate disruption poses an existential threat to everything we hold dear, including sports and recreation."