Sustainability & Energy Efficiency

How the NHL Became the Leader in Green Sports

3 min read

Without fresh water and cold climates, we wouldn’t have some of the greatest hockey players of all time, who were introduced to the sport by playing outdoors on frozen ponds. That’s why it’s in the best interest of the National Hockey League® to explore long-term strategies for protecting the environment.

The NHL® is making strides toward that goal by teaming up with Constellation to provide Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Carbon Offsets to match the league’s estimated total carbon footprint. Since the League made the commitment last December, it has offset 550,000 metric tons of carbon, which is the entire amount it expects to have produced for the 2014-2015 season. This is equal to taking 115,789 cars off the road in one year, according to the U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

This League investment in RECS and Carbon Offsets is believed to be the largest of any U.S. sports property ever.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also taken note of the NHL’s commitment to sustainability, naming it 17th on its National Top 100 list of the largest green power users—the first professional sports league to ever make this list.

Other sports leagues and commercial businesses can have a similar impact by working with Constellation to take strategic steps to reduce their own carbon footprint. Here’s how Constellation is working with the National Hockey League to achieve sustainability goals.


Conducting Energy Analyses

Constellation is working with the League to conduct baseline energy audits examining significant sources of carbon emissions at certain League and member club facilities, such as lighting, cooling, boilers and HVAC systems. This assessment will help the NHL and Constellation identify energy management strategies that will result in lower operating expenses and fewer carbon emissions.

To that end, Constellation offers robust programs that help customers achieve comprehensive energy management strategies and meet environmental goals, including conservation measures and on-site energy supply. Many of these upgrades can be made with no upfront capital expenses through our Efficiency Made Easy (EME) program.

Since 2011, the EME program has helped customers install more than 4,000 efficiency projects that prevented more than 16,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Offsetting Emissions With Clean, Renewable Energy Sources

One of the key components of our partnership with the NHL was to acquire and subsequently retire RECs, which represent electricity delivered to the grid through alternative sources, such as wind and solar power. The RECs we supplied to the NHL represent more than 271 million kilowatt hours of green power, matching the League’s total estimated electricity consumption.  

Providing Ongoing Support and Education

In addition to recommending energy efficiency measures and retiring RECs, Constellation’s energy management experts provide ongoing support to certain NHL facilities and clubs. That includes making them aware of additional opportunities to reduce usage and engage fans at events such as the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and the 2015 Honda NHL® All-Star Game. We continue to work with other energy partners, venue partners and commercial operations to make hockey fans across the nation more aware of their impact on the environment.

By promoting responsible energy use, the NHL is setting an example to its fans and others across the nation.

And as part of our commitment with the NHL to protect the physical environment for the future, we helped refurbish the Watkins Rush Rink, the community street hockey rink in Washington, D.C. as part of the NHL Winter Classic® Legacy Project.

“My hockey career began like many other players; on frozen ponds,” said Andrew Ference, NHL captain and Stanley Cup® Champion. “That’s why the groundbreaking partnership between the NHL and Constellation is so beneficial to the communities we play in. I’m proud to be part of a league that’s taking action to help the environment.”

To learn more about how Constellation can help your league or business set an example by reducing carbon emissions, contact us today.

**NHL, the NHL Shield, National Hockey League, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and the NHL Winter Classic logo and NHL All-Star Game logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. 
© NHL 2015.  All Rights Reserved.




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