CANMORE – White and blue are synonymous with the Canmore Eagles, but the Junior A hockey team is taking a much closer look at its greener side.
Starting next season, the Eagles will introduce an environmentally-friendly campaign with heightened awareness and action towards sustainablity.
“I think with the Town [of Canmore] saying we’re in a climate emergency, it falls in line with us listening and saying, ‘OK, this is what we're going to do,’” said Jacqueline Hurlbert, Canmore Eagles director of Sales and Marketing.
“It’s right in line with one of the things the Eagles [value], we see ourselves as ambassadors in the community and more than just a hockey team.”
Partnering with SustainDriven, a locally-based environmental sustainability company, some initiatives discussed will be player and fan education and engagement in all sustainability categories, waste diversion from landfills (Towards Zero Waste) at games, and plans on lowering its Greenhouse gas emissions footprint, such as travel to and from games, among others.
“If we can succeed in creating the Canmore Eagles as the greenest hockey club in the world, you can leverage that,” said Joey O’Brien, SustainDriven president.
“I want the Canmore Eagles to have a more successful budget, so we’re going to leverage that with Hockey Alberta, NHL, other players, maybe partners who want to come in and do this, to help their budget, so sustainability doesn’t cost, it pays.”
The idea is that through Canada’s most popular sport, it will cause a “tentacle-ization” effect, spreading its message throughout the country for greater sustainable practices for every other club/league to follow.
“We want to be the first to say, ‘this is the standard, don’t pick of the low hanging fruit’ … but rather the entire footprint,” O’Brien said. “There’s 2.5 million junior hockey players in Canada. What if we somehow manage to get in front of all 2.5 million? Now we’re talking about actual influence and that might lead toward measurement to what we’re doing.”
The Eagles play and practice at the Alex Kaleta Arena, inside the Canmore Rec Centre that recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, which included upgrading its green initiatives such as with the installion of LED lights.