Testimonial provided by: Paul LaCaruba, Manager of Sustainability, National Hockey League
In the 2014 NHL Sustainability Report (the first such report from the League and the first of its kind from a North American professional sports league), NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman begins:
The NHL represents the highest level of hockey in the world. But before many of our players ever took their first stride on NHL ice, they honed their skills on the frozen lakes and ponds of North America and Europe. Our sport can trace its roots to frozen freshwater ponds, to cold climates. Major environmental challenges, such as climate change and freshwater scarcity, affect opportunities for hockey players of all ages to learn and play the game outdoors.
When we publicly announced this commitment to becoming better stewards of the environment in 2010, the protection and conservation of water was a fundamental aspect in measuring our success, given our game’s dependence on the resource. While quite a few technologies and strategies were available in the marketplace to begin addressing hockey’s impacts from energy consumption and waste production, strategies to assist in the restoration of water were less established.
In 2011, BEF presented the NHL with an innovative opportunity to address the League’s water footprint. The NHL partnered with BEF to launch the NHL Water Restoration Project, an unprecedented commitment to restore an equivalent amount of all water used during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Through BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates®, we counterbalanced water usage during games for the first time in our history.
Given the program’s instant success and national recognition, the NHL and BEF teamed up to create Gallons for Goals, a pledge to contribute 1,000 gallons of water for each goal scored during the NHL regular season. The initiative has been ongoing since the 2011-2012 season and the amount pledged can be tracked in real-time on nhl.com/green.
Most recently, the League and a number of its member clubs (including the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild) joined the Change the Course campaign, further engaging fans and raising awareness about freshwater use in the arena and within their communities.
As a League, we are uniquely positioned to promote this environmental message. One of our great assets is our visibility. Millions visit NHL.com, NHL Network and the many other high profile digital and social platforms each year throughout the League. In conjunction with our players and Clubs who have enormous and passionate followings of their own, we can impress upon millions of fans just how important these environmental issues are.
To date, the League has assisted in the restoration of 20 million gallons of water, with an additional 10 million pledged for 2015. BEF continues to be an important resource for NHL Green. The partnership inspires creative solutions to reduce water usage in our arenas and educates NHL fans about one of the most important issues affecting the future of hockey.
NHL Tries to Give Back the Water
06/22/11—NEW YORK TIMES—Before the Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins, the National Hockey League said that the finals would be the first “water neutral” series in its history. Read full story
NHL and BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates® Make Big Splash
06/10/11—The National Hockey League’s Water Restoration Project, featuring BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates®, is making a big splash in the media during the finals. The following is a sample of press mentions for the initiative.