Beyond Sport Ambassador Mike Richter accepted the 2011 Sport for the Environment Award on behalf of NHL Green.
The Beyond Sport Awards were presented in Cape Town, South Africa during the 2011 Beyond Sport Summit. The Sport for the Environment Award celebrates an organization which best promotes the understanding and awareness of environmental issues and reduces negative impacts on the natural environment.
The National Hockey League’s Food Recovery Program, launched League-wide in October of 2010, was one of three projects undergoing final consideration for this award. Stanley Cup Champion goaltender, environmentalist, and Beyond Sport Ambassador Mike Richter accepted the award on behalf of the League.
"This is an extraordinary honor and we thank Beyond Sport for its recognition of our NHL Clubs for their commitment to their communities," said Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner. "As a sports league we take great pride that all our NHL Clubs are actively participating in a solution to alleviate hunger in North America."
The NHL Food Recovery Program was developed in cooperation with Rock and Wrap It Up!, a non-profit anti-poverty think tank, and engaged the League's food concessionaire's including ARAMARK, Delaware North, Levy Restaurants and Centerplate. The project has received prior recognition, as nine NHL Clubs were honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their commitment to food waste reduction in early 2011. As of December 1, the initiative has diverted approximately 50,000 pounds of food waste from landfill since the start of the 2011-12 regular season.
In July, The National Hockey League was named to the Official Shortlist for the 2011 Beyond Sport Awards as a finalist in both the Sport for Environment and Federation of the Year categories. Beyond Sport, a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to drive positive social change across the world, accepted entries under 12 categories covering the entire sporting spectrum of health, social inclusion, corporate and social responsibility, and philanthropy. The NHL stood as one of 35 shortlisted organizations from nearly 400 worldwide entries. The League was one of only two organizations to be shortlisted in multiple categories.