As a follow up to a previous post about the NHLPA’s carbon offsets program, The NHL and the Environment, I thought I should also look into other ‘big money’ sports to see if they express any concerns about their activities. If hockey players could show some concern for their impact on the environment, could football players or basketball players too?

What I did discover is that the NFL, with the help of Princeton University Researchers, computed the carbon footprint of the 2009 Super Bowl. I found a list of initiatives that were undertaken at Super Bowl XLIII including solid waste recycling, sports equipment collection by local area schools, a material donation program to donate office supplies and construction materials to local non-profit agencies, renewable energy used at major event venues and tree planting to offset greenhouse gasses. However, I could not easily find the results, nor any really positive comments about any impact that was made to improve the event. I did find one funny quote from Jack Groh, director of the NFL’s environmental program. “We’re trying to determine where the line is drawn between the organization managing the event and the individual when it comes to offsetting their emissions,” Groh said. “We’re trying to figure out at what point does this become someone else’s responsibility?” Is this really an appropriate comment for the guy in charge of the NBA’s environmental program? What about leading by example?

The Green Initiatives of the NBA were much easier to locate. They even have a surprisingly detailed section on their website entitled NBA Green including tips on living and working green, the top ten things that NBA teams are doing to ‘go green’ and many recent NBA environmental news stories that were quite interesting. The most notable project is the LEED certification achieved by the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena and the Atlanta Hawks’ Philips Arena. These are the first two arenas in the U.S. to receive the prestigious environment recognition. And once again Steve Nash is taking a leading role. He is participating as a spokesperson for the NBA’s first green week and as a good BC boy already drives a hybrid car and has installed solar panels on the roof of his home. Yeah Steve!

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