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NHL Green

NHL begins first Green Week

Teams will showcase programs and initiatives to help environment

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- The NHL kicked off its first NHL Green Week by delivering a presentation detailing its commitment to environmental sustainability at the 2016 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday.

NHL Green Week runs from March 12-18 and will feature teams showcasing their greening programs and initiatives that are helping to reduce the League's environmental impact.

"The efforts we make today toward a more sustainable planet will impact not only our sport but future generations," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "All of our clubs support NHL Green environmental programs, and NHL Green Week is an important initiative to create even more attention for, and awareness of, this critical priority for the National Hockey League."

Omar Mitchell, NHL vice president of corporate and social responsibility for NHL Green, presented the NHL initiatives to improve environmental sustainability and how it is as much about helping the planet as it is about helping the business of hockey.

"We have a long history for our sport," Mitchell said, referencing the NHL's upcoming centennial. "We want to make sure our sport continues for the next hundred years."

Video: GSA supports NHL to enrich environmental performance

Mitchell discussed how the NHL is donating 100 tons of reusable food every season, equivalent to 120,000 meals. He said that not only gets the food into mouths that need it, but it's diverting that food away from landfills.

He mentioned how the League is instituting a plan to replenish streams affected by climate change or other environmental issues.

As part of NHL Green Week, the League announced it will restore 7.5 million gallons of water to the Colorado River, equal to the total estimated water consumption for each arena for one home game.

In addition, Mitchell talked about ways the NHL is using its resources to improve the environment while attempting to lower the cost of playing the game at the grassroots level.

Video: GSA supports NHL to enrich environmental performance

The League has its rink refurbishment legacy projects, which helps get used equipment out of storage and into the hands of people who can afford it, Mitchell said.

He also talked about the League's initiative to taking greening principles to community rinks as a way to lower operating costs and thus lower the cost of ice time.

"It equates to growing the game," Mitchell said. "One of the key things is, we want to grow our sport, just like any other professional sports league. Our hope is we can use a community rink to actually achieve significant reductions in our environment impact and lowering the cost of the game. That's why these things are not only the right thing to do, but it's also important to us and our business."

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