Saturday, November 24, 2007

The CFL's Green Drive

No, this is not yet another post about how CFL's (compact fluorescent lights) are going to save the world. It's about how the CFL (Canadian Football League) is attempting to lighten the impact of its championship game this weekend.

Here's a portion of a press release from earlier this month.

TORONTO (CFL) -– The ‘CFL Green Drive’, a new initiative focused on minimizing the Grey Cup’s impact on the environment, was announced today by the Canadian Football League, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Environment.

Each year the CFL hosts the largest single-day sporting event in Canada. The CFL Green Drive represents a major new commitment by the league to minimize the event’s impact on the environment.
For this year’s Grey Cup, the CFL Green Drive will focus on three major areas; the use of renewable clean energy, waste management and carbon offsetting.

Through an environmental audit conducted by supporting partner Zerofootprint, the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the CFL championship game's energy use, paper, and team air travel were determined. These emissions will be balanced out using ISO-certified reforestation carbon offsets. This effort will offset nearly 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide, a process which will help revitalize degraded ecosystems and soak up the CO2 the event has produced.

The CFL is also working with supporting partner and clean energy leader Bullfrog Power, a retailer of 100 per cent EcoLogo certified green electricity, to provide clean power for this year’s Grey Cup.

Throughout Grey Cup week, the CFL’s supporting partner and recycling pioneer Turtle Island will provide waste management and recycling services for the Grey Cup Festival and at the big game itself.

More information can be found on the CFL’s Green Drive website via The website contains links to all of the CFL’s ‘green’ partners and is a resource for fans to learn more about the various initiatives.

Fans will also find an engaging way to be a part of the CFL Green Drive through an interactive carbon calculator designed by Zerofootprint.

Mrs THIT and I recently had a discussion about how authentic some of these "initiatives" are. I'm not questioning the CFL's in particular, but speaking in general terms. Are there real efforts being made, or is the green flag being waived because it's makes for good marketing?

Who knows? I don't want to paint everyone with one wide brush. If nothing else, the CFL brings the issue to a large group of people, a number of which may not be very aware of the options.

The CFL, by the way, is hardly a trailblazer here. Some time ago, it was announced that the 2010 Winter Olympics would also be carbon neutral, and the claim was reinforced earlier this month. The 2006 Olympics were partially offset, as were a number of other events including the Superbowl.

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