Environmental sustainability has become an issue in every industry during the last several years. The same case applies for hockey industry. Is there any hockey without ice? Is it green? How can hockey become a green business? The National Hockey League is trying to answer the questions with its commitment to pay special attentions on environment issues.
As reported by Carol Schram for Forbes, the NHL has come to a realization that many of its alumni and players are interested in environmental issues. Through its Corporate Social Responsibility program, NHL is taking some strategic steps to achieve its targets a leader in environment sustainability movement.
Figures behind the NHL’s Green Business Agenda
Actually, NHL’s Green agenda had been launched in 2010 under the name Green Agenda. The program is under NHL’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is led by Omar Mitchell – the Sustainability Director and Vice President for the program. One of the most important figures, who contributed much for the program was a former goaltender – namely Mike Richter, who retired from NHL in 2003.
After his retirement, Mike Richter continued his study to Yale University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. He took ethics, politics, and economics with a concentration in environmental policy. Richter then focused his career in the field of environmental sustainability. He then realized the importance of green business in every industry, including sports.
Another important figure is, of course, Mitchell, who led the board in 2012. He accepted a mandate to promote the Green Initiative and to build sustainable businesses, as well as to promote awareness on the environmental sustainability. NHL keeps promoting the green business by means of various programs, from Green celebration to Sustainability Programs.
Forms of Green Business by NHL
Conversion to LED Lights
Green Initiatives is implemented in a number of ways. For instance, NHL has converted the use light bulbs into LED by almost 90%. It applies in almost all parts of its spaces, from team spaces, concourse spaces, office spaces, and even parking areas. The conversion process has been implemented for 2 years along with the introduction of Energy Optimization System (EOS) in North America. The EOS program applies for any facility, including sports.
Besides cutting the operational costs at Canucks Sports and Entertainment, conversion to LED lights benefits the company in another way. About half of NHL’s teams have used LED lights. They provide optimal lighting for hockey. Of course we know that hockey players love bright-white playing surface.
NHL Sustainability Reports
The company has released two Sustainability Reports. The first was issued in 2014 and the second at the beginning of 2018. The reports describe the average savings obtained from the sustainability programs. For instance, use of LED lights can save energy consumption by 30 to 40% compared to the conventional High-Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs).
The reports also detailed improvements in environmental metrics. Instances included reduction of overall energy consumption by 1% and reduction of water consumption by 32%. Furthermore, its zero-waste initiative has significantly reduced the waste production by 80% since the program was introduced in 2012. Of course, green business and environmental sustainability is not always about money. Sustainability is about the future and the next generation.