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The National Hockey League believes clean water, cold temperatures vital to growth of hockey.
Therefore, it all starts with the ice, and with the outdoors. That’s where hockey begins. That’s where NHL Green begins.
That is why the NHL has opted to make NHL Green one of its signature social responsibility platforms. That’s alongside NHL Fights Cancer and Hockey is for Everyone. Green Week will take place March 11-17.
Consequently and over the years, the NHL has engaged in a number of initiatives designed toward energy efficiency. Also toward using and making up for the energy that has been used. Thereby finally combating the League’s carbon footprint and finding a way to marry those altruistic goals. Goals with added benefit to the NHL’s bottom line.
There needs to be water, clean water. Also, there needs to be clean air. As well, there must be temperatures that allow for outdoor hockey in the north and ball hockey in the south. These are things that are not now ensured. This is given the increase in the average world temperatures over the past 15 years.
“Sports has a way of talking about these social issues in a unique way to engage fans,” Mitchell said. “We see it with the breaking of the color barrier and the gender barrier. This is just another evolution of how sports can be a way of educating fans about these types of issues.”
That means the NHL has recognized that it has to do something, and it has to do something now. It can do something that magnifies its impact over the millions and millions of fans that watch the games and support the clubs and who might see, in the example set by the NHL, something that they can themselves do.
Mitchell ticked off the accomplishments of the NHL since NHL Green started in 2010, including becoming the first sports league to counterbalance its carbon emissions, which it has done for the past three seasons with corporate partner Constellation. That has made the NHL the 26th largest green power purchaser in the United States, the only sports league to make the Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 100 list.
Because of the League’s commitment to combating fresh water scarcity, it has contributed to the counterbalancing of more than 50 million gallons of water to dewatered streams across North America, through Gallons for Goals, which sees the NHL restore 1,000 gallons of water for every goal scored in the regular season. As of Friday, that amounted to 5,412,000 gallons.
One of the biggest priorities of the program is the Greener Rinks initiative, which seeks to understand the ecological impact of the approximately 4,800 community rinks in North America in order to help them be more environmentally sustainable and therefore more financially sustainable.
“Why is that important?” Mitchell said. “Because the community rinks are the front lines of our game. That’s where kids learn to play our sport.”
Through the NHL’s Green Week there will be obvious signs throughout the League’s arenas, including a gear donation drive of outgrown equipment, recycling that back into the system so that kids no longer have that barrier to entry, also a component of the Greener Rinks initiative, as it relates to lessening the costs of ice time.
Donation nets — customized goal nets with Plexiglas in front and the net cut out — will be available for fans to give away their used gear.
In conclusion, that’s not all. There is an amplification process that the NHL has seen through the initiative. Finally it’s through the athletes and the fans. More importantly and the ways in which even small changes can create big ones.
Source: NHL GREEN by Amalie Benjamin, @AmalieBenjamin, NHL.com, Staff Writer ,March 10th, 2017
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