A sustainability report was released this week from a rather unusual acronym–the NHL–which points out that warming of certain areas of the globe might seriously affect the future of the sport. Due to its heavy dependence on ice, the National Hockey League is one of the most environmentally-conscious sports leagues in North America. Its successful NHL Green program focuses on helping teams reduce their carbon footprints–and it’s not just a PR effort. NHL Green has seen teams reduce food waste from their games, overhaul their recycling programs, and even install solid oxide fuel cells on stadiums. The league is at the forefront of a long list of industries that are beginning to consider–and adjust for–the economic effects of climate change.
Around the world, businesses from fish farms to ski resorts have launched programs aimed at boosting their sustainability as climate change appears poised to cut into their profits. There’s also an element of pride fueling the efforts when it comes to sports. As Canadian geology professor Danny Harvey pithily explained to the Toronto Star: “If we want to keep winning those Olympic gold medals in hockey, you’d better hope it doesn’t warm up too much.”