Water flows as a life source for hockey, starting with the frozen ponds and lakes where players learn the game, to the ice making and resurfacing processes of arenas and local community rinks. Hockey as we know it wouldn’t exist without the freshwater resources where players learn the game. Life as we know it wouldn’t exist without the freshwater that serves as our drinking water, provides habitat for fish and wildlife and is crucial for agriculture and economic development.
As one of the most water intensive professional sports in North America, the NHL has partnered with BEF (Bonneville Environmental Foundation) since 2011 to measure and reduce their water footprint. BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates® (WRCs) provided a simple, turnkey solution to restore water to critically dewatered ecosystems – taking the NHL’s water commitment beyond conservation to restoration. The NHL measured their water footprint and began restoring water by balancing the unavoidable water use from league events such as the Stanley Cup Final.
Desiring a more fan-facing program, the NHL launched the Gallons for Goals program in 2011. For every goal scored the league restores 1,000 gallons of water to critically dewatered ecosystems in North America. To date, the NHL has restored over 30 million gallons.
In 2014, the League and a number of clubs joined Change the Course to encourage fans to pledge to reduce their water consumption. NHL teams and the league have begun to engage and inspire fans to take a free pledge to conserve water in their own lives. Change the Course is a national freshwater restoration campaign that aims to redefine how corporations and people value, use and manage freshwater resources. The campaign is a partnership between National Geographic, BEF and Participant Media. For every pledge to conserve water, 1,000 gallons of water is restored to the Colorado River Basin.
Since 2008, sales from Water Restoration Certificates® have restored over 14 billion gallons of water and supported 18 new water flow projects. Change the Course projects represent over 3 billion gallons, and 8 new projects, while also engaging over 104,000 global pledgers since 2013 when the campaign began.