AEG, the largest operator of arenas and stadiums, has become a founding member of the Green Sports Alliance (GSA).
AEG, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or is affiliated with companies including over 120 facilities such as STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN), Mercedes Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), O2 World arena (Berlin, Germany) and The O2 arena and entertainment district (London, England).
The company also owns the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and two Major League Soccer (MLS) franchises in addition to overseeing privately held management shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA).
The Green Sports Alliance is attracting the attention of major sports franchises, leagues and government agencies. Formally launched just five months ago, over 45 sports teams and venues have joined.
By uniting teams from eight professional sports leagues with facility management partners like AEG and environmental leaders like the US EPA, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, GSA is promoting environmental stewardship while improving the environmental performance of venues across North America.
"To solve the environmental problems facing our planet, we need to shift our culture toward more sustainable practices. Professional sports are hugely influential and can play a significant role in improving the choices industries and consumers make every day. As the largest operator of arenas and stadiums, and one of the most environmentally intelligent businesses in the field, AEG's partnership with the Green Sports Alliance can cause a 'green' ripple effect of enormous proportions," says Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist and director of NRDC's Sports Greening Initiative.
GSA was conceived of and initiated by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and representatives of Paul Allen's sports teams in the fall of 2009. Allen, a founder of Microsoft, owns the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers and is co-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC.
Other founding members include MLB's Seattle Mariners, NHL's Vancouver Canucks, WNBA's Seattle Storm and MLS' Seattle Sounders FC.
In addition to sharing best practices and collaborating on environmental programs as one of the GSA founding members, AEG will participate in next week's Green Sports Summit, where industry leaders and alliance members will meet to discuss the strategies and challenges of greening sports and facilities in the U.S. This three-day summit will combine case studies, expert presentations, panel discussions and a tour of the environmental programs of the Portland Rose Garden, home to the Portland Trail Blazers.
In November 2010, AEG launched its AEG 1EARTH program sustainability report - an industry first - and commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste and water usage at all its owned and managed facilities worldwide by at least 20% by 2020, including venues that fall under the new Green Sports Alliance like STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE, The Home Depot Center, Rose Garden, Target Center and Citizens Business Bank Arena.