The Green Teams Part IV

I’ve been talking about energy efficiency in professional sports for a while now and I realize how little I knew about any of it until recently. I was aware of the NBA’s Green Week and the 49ers efficient new stadium, but I never would have guessed the extent of the industry’s green achievements unless I really wanted to look into it. So I guess it’s a good thing I was curious about this and have an outlet to share my exciting findings with the world!!

As you’ve all learned by now, the NRDC put together a massive report about all things good and green in the sports industry, but they’ve also played quite the hand in helping the various teams, leagues and venues they highlight in the report develop green websites, events and initiatives.

The NRDC, with the NHL, launched a green website, designed to advertise the League’s green events (such as developing community gardens), promote green living tips and announce NHL green contributions (like their donation of 1,600 trees in May 2013 to The Nature Conservancy). The NHL and NRDC have collaborated numerous times to ensure hockey fans around the country are aware of environmental issues and initiatives. 2010 Winter Classic spectators even attended a panel discussion about how going green can benefit the economy.

The NHL’s green initiatives are vast, impressive and encouraging. Tickets are printed on recycled paper; unsold food is given to the Rock and Wrap It Up! Initiative to fight poverty; free public transportation passes are available to ticket holders. The list goes on. As shown in the PSA below, hockey players need ice to play their game and the ice in this world is quickly disappearing. Let’s change that. Let’s keep hockey around. I know I’m not the only who wants that.

I can’t express how awesome I think it is that such a huge, energy-sucking, wasteful industry (before you get mad at me for saying that, think about it for a second) is making major moves to cut its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and landfills. Their accomplishments have been so great that they’re starting to rub off on college sports, too!

Photo Source: FaceBook
 NCAA’s March Madness now not only has a sustainability committee for the Final Four (pages 32-34), but eligible schools can compete in the Environmental March Madness Tournament, which compares and assesses environmental degree programs, green job and event opportunities and on- and off-campus efforts to build a sustainable surrounding community. A National Champion is selected after three rounds of judging: the Finest Four is picked from the Environmental Eight, which is picked from the Sustainable Sixteen. I got to see 2013's Environmental March Madness National Champion, the Ohio State Buckeyes, at LA’s Staples Center for both their Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight Games. Wichita State may have knocked OSU out of the basketball part of the competition, but the Shockers weren’t ready for the Buckeyes’ environmental domination!

This is great for NCAA basketball, but hopefully there will be more green efforts in college sports as a whole. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conducted a sustainability survey for NCAA athletic departments and while some responses are encouraging, others are not. There is definitely room for improvement, but the important thing is that environmentally responsible endeavors have begun. All in all, as both an energy efficiency enthusiast and a major sports fan, I feel great about where the sports industry is headed and what we will see in the near future.

Energy Efficiency in March Madness

My brackets were busted before the first point was scored in March Madness 2013. My commissioner failed me and The Hulk Hogan Hair Club for Men (don't judge me by the company I keep) failed to host a pick'em pool.  Apparently traveling for work trumped getting the group page up and going, and there were promises up to the 11th hour that there would be a pool, yet here I sit--at my desk late in March with no score feeds downsized on my computer screen for the first time in 12 years.  Hell, there are games on right now--AND I'M WORKING!  All is not right with the world.

The most exciting thing I have going for me is our friends over at the Alliance to Save Energy came up with the EE Eight, the eight most energy efficiency campuses in the NCAA tournament.  I would not have chosen any of these to go to the Big Dance, but it's a nice list all the same.

For the record I would have seated Gonzaga and Louisville--I always send Gonzaga beyond where a reasonable person should and I don't even have  good cause for it, but this year--THIS YEAR! they're going in ranked #1 in the West. As for Louisville, well come on now, wouldn't you? Oh probably did and you're probably loving it.

Photo Credit: Gonzaga University