New York, NY (March 5, 2013) – The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will honor leaders in the professional sports’ greening movement at the Game Changer Awards Gala on March 14, 2013, at the Mandarin Oriental. Honorees include Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, Steve Tisch and John Mara, co-owners of the New York Giants, Bob Nutting, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Chairman of the Board, Peter McLoughlin, CEO, Vulcan Sports and Entertainment and Scott Jenkins, Vice President of Ballpark Operations for the Seattle Mariners and Chair of the Green Sports Alliance.
“These pioneers of the professional sports greening movement have made sustainability the rule rather than the exception,” said NRDC President Frances Beinecke. “Through their dedication and actions, they are leading a cultural shift toward environmental responsibility in sports, and, in doing so, they are showing the world that doing right by the planet is doing right by the fans and the bottom line.”
NRDC’s annual benefit, dedicated this year to the sports greening movement that NRDC helped launch, will be hosted by WNBA legend and four time Olympic Gold medal winner Lisa Leslie. Four professional sports league Commissioners are co-chairing the event, including Allan H. (Bud) Selig of Major League Baseball, David Stern of the National Basketball Association, Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League and Don Garber of Major League Soccer.
NRDC is a proud founder of the U.S. professional sports greening movement. Since 2004, NRDC has been the principal environmental advisor to all the professional sports leagues, receiving endorsement from every major league sports commissioner. As a result of these collaborations, more than 100 professional teams have adopted environmental initiatives, millions of pounds of global warming pollution have been avoided, millions of gallons of water have been conserved, and teams have been able to save millions of dollars in the process. The Game Changer honorees have led professional sports’ engagement in these initiatives.
NRDC’s annual gala event celebrates those who have made significant contributions to environmental causes in their respective industries. In years past, NRDC has honored such notables as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor Robert Redford, Chef Alice Waters, producer Laurie David and former NRDC President John Adams.
ABOUT OUR HONOREES
Steve Tisch, John Mara, and Woody Johnson helped make MetLife Stadium one of the greenest in the nation. These owners committed their stadium to ambitious environmental milestones by joining with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement environmentally intelligent design and operations. And they also used the significant market influence and cultural visibility of their new stadium to promote environmental stewardship among fans, sponsors and their supply partners.
Bob Nutting implemented environmentally responsible practices and engaged millions of baseball fans and his team’s supply chain in environmental awareness through the Pirates “Let’s Go Bucs. Let’s Go Green” Program. Nutting has also been a vocal advocate for environmental stewardship within his league and has transferred the environmental commitments he’s made throughout his ballpark to his other businesses, including the Seven Springs Ski resort, and his publishing and real estate businesses.
Peter McLoughlin oversees sports franchises and facilities that are among the greenest in the nation, including the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, CenturyLink Field, Portland Trail Blazers and the Rose Garden Arena. The Rose Garden Arena was the first LEED Gold-certified professional sports arena in the United States and has saved over $1 million in operating costs due to extensive energy, water and waste efficiency upgrades. And under his leadership, Vulcan Sports & Entertainment joined with NRDC to launch the Green Sports Alliance in 2011.
Scott Jenkins has been a pioneer in the green sports movement. He made Safeco Field the most energy-efficient of all Major League Baseball stadiums. And as Chairman of the Green Sports Alliance, Scott’s strong leadership has helped that organization grow from five teams into a diverse coalition of more than 150 teams and venues from across 15 leagues.