National Hockey League power plays and wins are taking place beyond the ice. While the NHL is known for its die-hard fans and legendary athletes, it’s also forging the way to environmental stewardship in the sports industry. For five years, it has used REALice – energy-efficient ice technology – to surface rinks for NHL Stadium Series, Heritage Classic and Winter Classic games. In addition, the organization has developed NHL Green™, a program that encourages eco-friendly practices such as recycling and energy conservation.
The NHL has introduced new and innovative green initiatives to hockey rinks and arenas across North America. Check out what some NHL arenas are doing to uphold the organization’s environmental commitment!
Which NHL arenas are eco-friendly?
Air Canada Centre
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) at the Air Canada Centre is tapping into its green side with the Team Up Green program, making the Toronto Maple Leafs’ arena more energy efficient. MLSE is focusing on three key areas: energy, waste and water. By using deep-lake water cooling instead of air conditioning compressors and centrally produced steam instead of boilers, MLSE is reducing its energy usage. With millions of attendees coming through Air Canada Centre yearly, MLSE is using post-consumer recycled paper products, using tri-sorters for recyclables and donating unused food to offset the attendees’ waste. The arena maintains its clean water source by utilizing upgraded filtration systems and avoiding chemical treatment solutions. Also, washroom faucet sensors are used to conserve Air Canada Centre’s water usage.
CONSOL Energy Center
The Pittsburgh Penguins play in CONSOL Energy Center, the first NHL arena with a LEED certification. To achieve LEED Gold certification, CONSOL Energy Center took overall design, building materials, energy efficiency and resource conservation into consideration. Now, the arena is one of the greenest sports venues in the United States, setting an example for its local community and other large sports venues. Guests have the opportunity to tour the CONSOL Energy Center and learn about its commitment to sustainability.
Colorado Avalanche fans are familiar with attending games at Denver’s Pepsi Center. With nearly 18,000 hockey fans per game, the arena addresses waste management through its Play Clean campaign that conserves nearly 20,000 pounds of waste per year. It’s the first of its kind in Colorado to be used at a large entertainment venue, according to the Pepsi Center site. Play Clean encourages arena visitors to be mindful of how they throw away their trash during hockey games, concerts, and other popular events. That’s not all Pepsi Center is doing to go green. The arena also has designated parking spaces for hybrid cars and a “No Idling Zone” to reduce harmful automobile emissions.
The Vancouver Canucks’ home arena is so eco-conscious, Rogers Arena set an initiative to achieve zero waste at all of its events. To achieve this, in March of 2013, it partnered with Waste Management and the Green Sports Alliance to implement practices such as “green” bins. These strategically placed bins help reduce waste by separating what can be recycled or composted rather than being thrown into a landfill. According to its website, Canucks Sports & Entertainment is 100% committed to build upon its current green initiatives and become a leader in environmental practices.
Home to the Boston Bruins, TD Garden has made energy-efficient changes to its facility over the past decade. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency even recognized the arena for its green efforts back in 2008. TD Garden has increased its sustainability by participating in recycling and waste programs. Also, the arena has become more sustainable when it comes to its outdoor lighting. By opting for LED lights and managing overall energy consumption, TD Garden has reduced its electricity usage by up to about 20 percent.