As teams prepare and battle each other to make it into the playoffs, the National Hockey league is deciding to fight a battle that might affect the entire sport of hockey in general.
Hockey just like every other winter sport depends on winter in order for it to perform. The sheets of ice that the players play above depends on the environment around them, because of the many outdoor arenas. With a world affected by climate change, this could affect the future of this sport.
So, the National Hockey League is deciding to go green in order ensure that Hockey can continue to thrive for future generations. In a statement made on Wednesday, the league shared their plans on what they want to see happen, and also voiced all of their major concerns including, “Hockey was born on frozen ponds-climate change is impacting access to our sport outdoors.”
Several players also voiced and shared their concerns this week on the official twitter page of NHL, including Winnipeg Jets player Mark Scheifele. In the video, he describes his love for outdoor skating rinks, and why they are so important, especially in the development of young players.
The NHL has acknowledged that if there is no change in the upcoming decades the average length of a skating season may shrink by one-third in eastern Canada, and by around 20 percent in western Canada. This is of course due to rising temperatures.
The whole point of this report can be summed up in just one sentence from the report, “Our environmental mission is to ensure the sport of hockey thrives for future generations.”
This all comes after last year when over a dozen federal agencies reported that humans are the dominant cause of rising in global temperatures. Despite the current administration not sharing the same opinion.
With over 30 different teams in both the U.S. and Canada, they have made the commitment to minimize the sports environmental footprint by supporting smart energy, reducing carbon emissions, conserving water and reducing waste.
In 2014 the NHL became the first major sports league to come out with a sustainability report on the future of the sport. With this commitment came the National Resources Defense Council which since 2014 has helped the league decrease it’s CO2 emissions by 2 percent each year.
NHL’s vice president for corporate social responsibility told USA TODAY, “Hockey is a very energy-intensive sport… Our analysis shows about 66 percent of our carbon footprint is attributed to energy usage to create an ice sheet. So, what we are trying to is to promote innovations that will lower energy consumption within our buildings.”
In order to energize fans to support and help the environment through the Recycle the Game program which encourages fans to donate used equipment to hockey programs.
“We can only do so much at the league level and on our clubs and our arena partners to impact carbon footprint, but if we can influence the 76 million fans who watch our sport, that’s where you’re going to have real change,” Mitchell told USA TODAY.
Are you excited about the NHL’s commitment towards cleaner energy?