Green Biz Meets Green Sports

Natural Resources Defense Council: Changing The Game


Sports, a $400 billion global business and with billions of fans around the world, has, in many respects, taken the lead in making business more sustainable.  And it can and will do a lot more as the “Green Sports Movement” builds.  So said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist, Urban Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in a compelling talk at the Better Business Bureau’s CSR Conference in New York on Tuesday.





Hershkowitz highlighted how NRDC has teamed up with the major sports leagues in the US to “Green The Games” since 2004.  NRDC is the exclusive sustainability non-profit partner of the NBA, NHL, MLB, Major League Soccer, the US Open.  They also work with the Council of Ivy League Presidents and other college sports associations.  NRDC’s work has led the leagues to examine a wide range of business practices, from purchasing decisions to transportation choices, from energy use to waste management policies, all with an eye towards to reducing sports’ environmental impact.

And, even though, as Hershkowitz noted, the greening of sports has gone on under the radar in most respects, the fact is sports has proven the business case for sustainability, through:

  • Reduced costs through energy efficiency
    • 15 stadia are LEED certified, which not only means they were constructed in as energy efficient a manner as possible, but also that they’ll operate efficiently
  • High-profile shift to clean energy
    • 18 US stadia/arenas have on-site solar
  • Improved brand image among fans and other stakeholders by becoming better corporate citizens
    • 67% of stadia/arenas have recycling and/or on site composting
  • And last but certainly not least, additional sponsorship revenue (if you hadn’t noticed sports and money go together like Minneapolis and St. Paul!)

And, if you think the sports-sustainability marriage is a bit of a PR play, a cynical “let’s keep protesters at bay”, kind of thing, you might want to think again.

While a bit of skepticism is certainly healthy, sustainability has visibility at the top of the league hierarchies.  Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, NBA commissioner David Stern, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman are all engaged on a personal level with Hershkowitz and the NRDC to maximize the positive impact of a sustainable business approach on the leagues’ operations and, at the same time, to use the incredible megaphone the leagues have and the passions sports generates to get fans to change their behavior in ways that will help us SHAWKI (Save Humanity As We Know It–for those who haven’t read earlier posts).

Per a prior post, I believe fan engagement is where the teams/leagues need to push much, much harder (and overcome their fear of wading into a political minefield) than they have to date.  Dr. Hershkowitz’ talk made me more hopeful than before that sports will continue that push–a push in which I plan to play a role.


Please comment below!
Email us:
Friend us on Facebook:
Tweet us @GreenSportsBlog

Babe Ruth, The Climate Crisis and The 6th Graders at P.S 171

Previous article

Auto Racing Turns Green? Welcome, Formula E

Next article


  1. Just tweeted this post link. Being hopeful about making changes is critical. It’s way too easy to sink into “this is impossible” and let everything ground to a halt.

  2. Absolutely. Optimism is an inherent element of sports–after all, Cubs fans are still Cubs fans despite not having won a World Series since 1908. Thus, an injection of optimism, combined with real and significant sustainability measures, make sports an ideal industry to play a leading role in the fight to reverse climate change.

  3. […]  At least 8 years ago, BEF became a primary resource for Allen Hershkowitz’s sports greening efforts at the NRDC.  Primarily, BEF supplied RECs (Renewable Energy Credits), […]

  4. […] Bowl XLVIII less than 3 hours away, GSB gives the last word on the greenness of The Big Game to Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the leader of their prodigious efforts on greening the sports world, via his blog post, What […]

  5. […] year’s NASCAR Green Summit featured Al Gore as Keynote Speaker and Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, leader of NRDC’s Greening The Games initiative, was a Panel Co-Chair.  I trust those […]

  6. For instance, whole wheat cereals, healthy breads, fat free yogurt, etc.
    Paleoista Cinnamon Baked Apple. It is possible to also substitute an
    apple with the banana.

  7. This post will help the internet people for setting up new
    blog or even a blog from start to end.

  8. Hi there! I know this is somewhat off topic but
    I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  9. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my
    problem. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  10. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it
    or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog.
    A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  11. […] 2012 – NRDC Sports Greening Project – Natural Resources Defence Council […]

  12. It is known as a woman’s herb and contains compound (diosgenin) that can be
    chemically converted into progesterone thus the progesterone boosted properties; the extract of
    this herb is also referred to as “natural hormone” and is aid to
    slow down aging process. Evaluate any breast enhancement cream you
    might use for shelter and effectiveness. 6) Macrolane
    is made of non-animal hyaluronic acid, a gel-like filler that is eventually absorbed
    and broken down by the body.

  13. Awesome! Its really amazing article, I have got much
    clear idea regarding from this article.

  14. […] its Sustainability Report, the first ever to be published by any North American sports league. Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a consultant to NHL Green and a Co-Founder of the Green Sports Alliance, hailed the report as the […]

  15. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing
    a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same topics as
    yours and I think we could greatly benefit
    from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free
    to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Great blog by the way!

  16. It’s great that you are getting ideas from this post as well
    as from our dialogue made here.

  17. What i do not realize is if truth be told how you’re not really
    much more smartly-favored than you might be now.
    You’re so intelligent. You understand thus considerably
    in the case of this matter, made me in my view imagine it from so many numerous
    angles. Its like women and men are not interested until it is something
    to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. At all times deal with it up!

  18. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I
    find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and
    aid others like you aided me.

  19. […]  Internally, we can trace it back to a conversation between NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Dr. Allen Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) back in 2008 about the need for the NHL to move aggressively to green the sport (Ed. Note: NRDC is […]

  20. They like to compensate special buyers with great deals.

  21. Constantly read the termination times in your coupons.

Comments are closed.


Login/Sign up


Login/Sign up