Hockey is often associated with black and blue, but a deal announced Thursday aimed at giving green a foothold on the ice. The NHL signed a deal that will make Baltimore-based Constellation Energy the “official energy provider”of the professional hockey league.
As part of the sponsorship, which the league says is the first of its kind in pro sports, Constellation will be tasked with helping to offset the carbon footprint inside the league’s stadiums.
“Our sport was born on frozen ponds and relies on winter weather. Everyone who loves our game will benefit by taking an active role in preserving the environment and the roots of the game,’ NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
As part of the deal, Constellation will conduct energy efficiency analyses at all of the league’s stadiums. The company will also provide carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates that aimed at making the league “carbon neutral.” NHL brass estimate 75 percent of hockey’s carbon footprint comes from electricity use. Stadium activities also use enough water to make 25,700 ice sheets.
But in comparison to major energy consumers, the NHL’s 550,000-ton carbon footprint is relatively small. It’s only 1/30th the size of a coal plant. Still, by bringing energy efficiency front and center in a sports setting, the league and Constellation are hoping to help educate people about the need for sustainability. Given the fact that a huge part of global warming is associated with melting ice sheets, there’s plenty of symbolism already built in.
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