Given their popularity, travel needs, and prevalence, professional sports teams have an effect on the environment. Many are making efforts to be more environmentally friendly for the good of the earth and the sports fans who live in it. Some of these efforts are larger than others.

The NHL Starts with Eco-Friendly Jerseys

Making strides toward being environmentally-conscious, the NHL recently unveiled its latest endeavor: eco-friendly jerseys. These jerseys, designed for next week’s All-Star game in San Jose, Calif. are made from marine plastic-waste materials that have been upcycled. A partnership between Adidas and Parley Ocean Plastic™ made the revolutionary jerseys possible.

The eco-friendly jerseys are just one element of the NHL’s focus on increasing sustainability efforts. Composting, LED lighting, efficiency water fixtures, and other moves by the NHL are aimed at reducing the league’s carbon footprint.

Other sports organizations are making similar moves.

For example, the University of Miami also this season debuted eco-friendly uniforms made by Adidas and Parley. The Hurricanes’ uniforms featured jerseys, pants, gloves, and other gear featuring oceanic upcycled materials.

How One Smaller Team is Working Toward Sustainability

It is likely teams like the Forest Green Rovers, a football team in the United Kingdom, may begin seeking eco-friendly uniforms soon, too. This team was recently the first United Nations certified carbon-neutral football club. The team eats a vegan diet and offers vegan food to fans on match days. It plays on an organic pitch, uses a solar-powered robotic lawnmower, and recycles rainwater. The club’s stadium is powered by green-energy.

Large Professional Sports Leagues and Teams are Making Eco-Friendly Efforts

While such dramatic sustainability efforts as the ones Forest Green Rovers made are unlikely to sweep larger sports leagues soon, many more sizable teams and leagues are taking steps toward sustainability as well.

For example, the NFL has committed to an environmental program and partners with local areas where games like the Superbowl take place to reduce environmental impact. The MLB sponsors a number of programs for recycling and renewable energy.

Several stadiums have become (or are working toward being) LEED certified. The Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena is one example of a reported 30-plus sports facilities who meet qualifications. The Atlanta Falcons, the Minnesota Twins, and other teams are following suit.

Within stadiums, teams like the Philadelphia Eagles are incorporating technology like food waste digesters to reduce the amount of waste that comes from hosting enormous crowds on game days.

Partnerships to Improve Sports Sustainability Efforts

To maximize their efforts in environmental consciousness, the Philadelphia Eagles are partnering with Brazil-based Braskem. This petrochemical business’ agreement with the team will last for nine years and include many projects to reduce negative environmental impact. This type of partnership is essential for teams and leagues that desire to become more environmentally-friendly. Organizations like Sport and Sustainability, founded in 2017, work with representatives of the sports industry, like leaders from the Olympics, NHL, and more, to create the kinds of connections needed to work toward the end-game: sports that will not wear out the earth.

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