Team Green & National Sport Organizations

Understanding the importance of our environment has become a major issue with most organizations. The green movement isn’t politely saying excuse me anymore. Green is here and organizations better let this movement in or it’s going to push its way through. Now major organizations are giving the attention that going green demands. In this time, when there is such an emphasis on going green the pressure is on organizations in all industries. This includes professional sport organizations which are all changing certain elements in their company infrastructure to accommodate the green movement. The four major sport organizations in North America: MLB, NFL, NBA, and the NHL all have set down guidelines to become more green and eco-friendly.

The Major League Baseball association launched an environmental program in March of 2008 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. This program was set up to advise each of the 30 MLB teams on how to become more eco-friendly and adapt to green initiatives. These initiatives are intended to create a more environmental friendly atmosphere for both players and fans on a local and national scale. The overall idea is to promote responsible environmental decisions within the teams, all while teaching their fans and sponsors to become conscious of environmental issues. The MLB program focuses on sustainable resource management and the reduction of their carbon footprint. Each team was asked to come up with a list on how they would meet these standards based on three elements: clearly define environmental goals, involve entire staff at all levels, and be able to educate staff, fans, players, sponsors, and vendors on green issues.

The National Football League has also implemented green initiatives, starting with the Super Bowl. They originally created their environmental program to make up for impact the Super Bowl has on the environment. With success on the Super Bowl it has made its way into other major events hosted by the NFL such as, the Pro Bowl and the NFL kickoff. These green initiatives not only had a positive influence on the communities involved, but also helped educate the public and media on environmental efforts. Although, the NFL has not implemented an environmental campaign for each team, the Philadelphia Eagles took it upon themselves to do something green. The Eagles like the MLB worked with the Natural Resource Defense Council to improve environmental efficiency in their stadium, training facilities and team offices.

Back in April the National Basketball Association in efforts with the Natural Resources Defense Council, held its first NBA Green Week. Their was local efforts from all 30 NBA teams to plant trees, hold recycling drives, cleaned up parks and hold environmental and green educational events for fans. The NBA also now uses 100 percent organic cotton shirts and recycled basketballs. Much like the MLB and NFL, the NBA plans to positively influence environmental awareness with its fans, players, and team sponsors to live green by finding ways to improve and secure the environment. The NBA has the potential to not just influence green initiatives in North America, but also world wide since it has a global appeal.

The NHL is also making major strides to get involved in green initiatives. The league also works with the Natural Resource Defense Council to launch their environmental initiative back in 2007. The NHL focuses more on becoming green within rather than educating and promoting green awareness. They focus on increasing operational, using renewable sources, and offsetting their green house gas emissions.

The “Green” movement is pushing its way through the door in all industries. With the help of the Natural Resource Defense Council all four major sport organizations are moving towards a greener pasture. There is no doubt that these sport organizations have a huge following to connect with. If these green initiatives can be passed on to their fans it will promote awareness and definitely encourage people to become more environmental friendly. This is not only a great thing for the professional sport organizations, but it creates opportunities for the green movement to be welcomed by other organizations.

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