The Minnesota Wild scored a sustainability “hat-trick."
A key player partner in the Green Sports Alliance, the National Hockey League (NHL) team remains committed to environmental performance as well as athletic excellent. The team’s home arena, the Xcel Energy Center, was recently named the first complex in the world certified for three key sustainability certifications -- LEED, Green Globes and APEX/ASTM.
"To have all of these venues (complex includes St. Paul RiverCentre and Roy Wilkins Auditorium) certified by three respected, independent environmental organizations feels truly incredible," said Jim Ibister, vice president of administration for the Minnesota Wild. "It's certainly not the finish line; we want to continue making progress and share what we've learned to help others."
Significant accomplishments by the Minnesota Wild and other members and sports leagues part of the Green Sports Alliance illustrate the key impacts the organization is making in creating sustainable sports facilities. The nonprofit founded by Vulcan and the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, helps sports team, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance in innovative ways.
The Alliance is changing the way major sports leagues are thinking of their businesses. The NHL released their first ever sustainability report this year -- a first for a major sports league. The report sought to address head-on the connection between hockey and environmental challenges. The Green Sports Alliance was crucial in the process, after the league sought the organization’s assistance.
Like the NHL’s Sustainability Report, the Alliance was crucial in helping the Minnesota Wild undergo their transformation. Before undergoing its environmental initiatives, the team was only recycling 15 percent of its two million pounds of waste.
Today, that recycling rate is 60 percent. By changing out just one simple device in the restrooms at the Xcel Energy Center, the team is saving 78,000 gallons of water per year. By installing the upper Midwest’s largest solar field on its roof, the arena is helping to offset the energy use of 900 homes. These simple measures can be duplicated in arenas and fields across the United States.
With 263 members including over 120 teams and 135 venues across seven North American leagues, the Green Sports Alliance is shaping the way sporting events occur and accelerating the environmental evolution of sports.