Green Sport

Event Sustainability Lessons from a Stanley Cup Champion


Dear Mr. Mike Richter,

I’d like to ask your forgiveness. You see, for the last 19 years I’ve had a bit of a grudge against you.

If you don’t remember why, this should make it clear.

You, and your 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers put a pretty big damper on my summer break that year, stealing the title out from underneath the Vancouver Canucks in Game Seven. Boo.

I know we haven’t stayed in touch. You’ll understand I was pretty bummed. The third (failed) run for the Cup by my home team in 2011 didn’t help. I mean we have a Park out here in Vancouver just waiting to acquire the Cup-of-its-namesake. Could you guys just give us a break?



I’d just like to say, after your performance at the Green Sports Alliance Summit, I’ve decided to forgive you for the role you played in my favoured club’s defeat that year. Who knew you’d go on to do such good things to contribute to sustainable events? Helping finance greener technology in rinks and such? Working with great groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council? And Athletes for A Healthy Planet? Teaches me to assume you only find sustainability champions in traditional places like the not-for-profit sector.

So as a peace-offering I’d like to share with my blog readers the advice you recently shared via the @NHL Twitter handle during the Green Sports Alliance Summit. Stuff that I reckon isn’t just relevant to green sports but pretty good advice for anyone in my field who is wanting to create more efficient, smarter sustainable events. After this though, I’m calling it even.


Shawna McKinley

A converted fan.

Excerpts from #greensports Tweetchat with Mike Richter (@NHL) #AskRichter

@practicallygrn: How to persuade folks to reduce waste?:  MR: Educate fans by examples.


@mdowd35: Why get involved in sustainability? MR: It’s about performance and health, just like hockey.


@sportsalliance: What’s the #1 thing fans can do to support green sports? MR: Support your team’s green efforts.


@AEG1Earth: Tips to reduce impact when players are on the road? MR: Recycle and eat local.


@Energy_Rich: Where do you begin with athletes that know nothing about sustainability? MR: Integrity to lead by example.


@charlescurtis82: What green initiatives are at Yankee Stadium for NY Ranger games? MR: Offset water and carbon, @restorehockey gear drive. (SM: BTW…LOVE this!)


@robbtuftshockey: Do you know of any teams or NHL offices that are LEED-certified? MR: New EDM, NYI, PIT & MTL already are!


@facefranchise: Are there similarities between goaltending and solar power? MR: High energy, intelligent design, plain old fun.


@omarmit: Why should fans care about green? MR: A clean environment is in everyone’s interest.


And my personal favourite, from Edmonton OIler Andrew Ference, on why to care?

“I’m playing in a city and want to protect the city because I love it and respect the people in it”


Geez, who said hockey players were all tough and stuff?

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