The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are familiar playoff foes. The clubs met last season in the Western Conference Semifinals, with the Kings advancing in seven hard fought games. They meet earlier this year, in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On Sunday, the Sharks dealt the Kings a second consecutive lopsided loss to open the series with a 2-0 lead. The series now intensifies as the Kings return home tonight, welcoming the Sharks into the STAPLES Center, which will be glowing green to celebrate Earth Day.
While the strong play of the two California rivals will be on center stage tonight, the equally strong commitments of both clubs to a more sustainable business and lifestyle will be on display all month long.
Yesterday, the Sharks announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had awarded the clubs a Certificate of Achievement for their accomplishments in implementing the Food Recovery Challenge. The Food Recovery Challenge asks participants to reduce as much of their food waste as possible - saving money, conserving resources, helping communities, and protecting the environment.
Since implementing the program in 2010, the Sharks have packed up all prepared but untouched concession food following game nights at SAP Center and redistributed them to Martha's Kitchen, a local soup kitchen in the Bay Area.
This season, the Sharks have donated over 8,100 pounds of food and 6,200 meals, and have totaled over 20,255 pounds of donated food and 15,580 meals since the start of the Challenge. This is equivalent to 16,180 pounds of carbon dioxide and 14,562 pounds of methane in prevented emissions, which negatively impact the environment.
"The Sharks' achievements are a hat trick for the Bay Area, taking a bite out of food insecurity, checking climate change, and assisting communities," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "EPA is proud to recognize these environmental heroes of the NHL as they move into the compost season."
Along with taking part in the Food Recovery Challenge, the Sharks and SAP Center are active participants in other environmentally friendly programs and activities.
In October of 2012, the Sharks installed Bloom Energy Servers that replaced approximately 90% of the electrical utility power used at SAP Center during non-event hours and approximately 25% used on a Sharks game day, becoming the first multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility to utilize fuel cell technology as a supplemental electricity source. Due to the efficiency of the Bloom box, SAP Center will reduce its carbon footprint by 4.8 million pounds of CO2 over a ten-year period, equal to taking 427 passenger vehicles off the road.
Equally impressive, SAP Center diverts over 90% of its waste from landfill disposal through recycling and composting programs developed and honed over the last decade. In partnership with SIMS Recycling Solutions, fans and staff members responsibly and conveniently recycle their old electronics in the most environmentally responsible manner possible. Since 2010-11 season, the Sharks have recycled approximately 100,000 pounds of electronic waste, including 12,644 pounds of electronic equipment this season alone.
In congruence with these green initiatives, the Sharks will be participating in National River Cleanup Day on May 17th. The Sharks will run a cleanup site on the Guadalupe River (from Coleman St. to Julian St.), serving as one of the dozens of cleanup sites located around the South Bay. Interested volunteers can sign up now at sjsharks.com/creekcleanup.
STAPLES Center, home of the Los Angeles Kings, has been a sustainability leader in the world of sports since its opening in 1999. With the help of AEG –the building’s management company- STAPLES Center has become a leader in environmentally better practices, boasting a 1,727-panel solar array atop its roof; high-efficiency lighting, equipment, and energy management systems; and waterless urinals, among other initiatives. AEG and STAPLES Center developed an environmental management system (EMS) to guide employees in reducing the environmental impact of STAPLES Center’s daily operations. As a result, the STAPLES Center became the first U.S. arena to receive an ISO 14001 certification in 2010.
Efficiency and innovation have always been important to STAPLES Center’s management team. “We’re always reminded by our ownership to save energy, save water, identify state-of-the-art technology and pass on these practices and lessons whenever possible,” says Bill Pottorff, vice president of engineering for STAPLES Center. “When you realize that this is truly a priority to our organization, you have to look for ways to do that. Beginning with the planning and design of STAPLES Center in 1998, this has always been our way of life.”
Over the last two years, STAPLES Center has been working to retrofit and update existing lights fixtures throughout the arena to energy efficient LED lights, which in total included 2,905 upgraded fixtures to date with more to follow in 2014. To celebrate this accomplishment and bring awareness to STAPLES Center’s sustainability efforts, along with recognizing Earth Hour and Earth Month, STAPLES Center has changed its signature purple exterior lights to green.
The facility’s sustainability efforts have gone far beyond lighting, into the realm of waste reduction, smarter purchasing (of biodegradable and nontoxic cleaning products), and investing in innovative sustainable technology for reductions in water consumption (see more: NRDC Game Changer). The Kings have even joined the League’s broader effort to replenish fresh water sources and raise awareness of water scarcity issues among fans and players by contributing to the Gallons for Goals campaign, which donates 1,000 gallons of water to a river with critically low levels for each goal scored.
"The success of the NHL Green initiative is credited to our Clubs, and their ingenuity and resourcefulness," said Omar Mitchell, Director of Sustainability at the NHL. "The Sharks and the Kings continue to take a leadership role by once again proving the environmental and financial benefits of effective waste management strategies, from source reduction and food donations to recycling and composting."
While only one club can advance from this series, both the Sharks and Kings deserve recognition as champions of the environment within the NHL.