NHL-SAP tie-up to determine carbon footprint



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NHL teams up with SAP to measure global footprint of venues Image: Coliseum GSVA

The National Hockey League (NHL) has partnered with SAP on a new Web-based digital platform that will allow the League and its teams to better gauge their carbon footprint.

‘NHL’ stated that the end-to-end, cloud-based platform, called NHL Venue Metrics, will enable the League to gather ongoing insights and analyze the carbon footprint generated by its teams and their arenas across a variety of metrics including energy, water, waste, and recycling.

New York (US)-based the National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams – 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the top ranked professional ice hockey league in the world, and is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

The SAP is one of the world’s leading producers of software for the management of business processes, developing solutions that facilitate effective data processing and information flow across organizations.

Founded in 1972, the company was initially called System Analysis Program, later abbreviated to SAP. Since then, it has grown from a small, five-person endeavor to a multinational enterprise headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, with more than 105,000 employees worldwide.

Said Omar Mitchell, NHL Vice-President, Sustainable Infrastructure and Growth Initiatives, “A core tenet of our environmental sustainability strategy is continued measurement and analysis of our known carbon footprint, particularly our arenas where our games are played. We’ve been tracking this data for a number of years. But in order to take that effort to the next level, we needed to leverage the experts at SAP to help us build a scalable platform that would be a gamechanger out of the gate.”

‘NHL’ further stated that in September, the NHL invited all 32 teams and arena operators to begin using the platform and inputting historical data from 2018 through mid-2022 to create a baseline.

Stated Amy Schulz, SAP Senior Director of Global Sponsorships, “Our latest effort brought together two organizations that value and recognize the transformative role that technology can play in accelerating more sustainable business practices. With the enhanced capabilities of SAP Business Technology Platform, NHL Venue Metrics will streamline how the NHL tracks environmental impact across the League that will influence goal-setting for the future. We’re proud to be working hand in hand with the League to not only support their sustainability objectives but also ensure hockey thrives for the future generations.”

The platform consists of three parts: A data collection application that allows teams and their arena partners to upload and enter their consumption and venue operations data, a calculations and verification application that is the processing engineer, allowing the NHL to confirm and validate the data input by the venues, and an insights dashboard that lets the NHL, its teams and venues visualize the data.

The information will provide insights to allow the NHL to advance and achieve its sustainability objective of reducing its ecological impact where possible.

Teams and arenas will be able to access insights that include year-over-year analysis of utility consumption trends, League averages and comparisons between like-market venues.

The NHL has sought to be a leader in reducing its environmental impact and protecting the roots of the sport. In 2010, the League launched NHL Green, its commitment to embed sustainability into its business operations and reduce its environmental impact where possible.

A key component of the effort is measuring the known carbon emission impacts of its operations.

NHL Green released sustainability reports in 2014 and 2018 that determined NHL arena operations make up a substantial component of the League’s overall carbon footprint.

To help collect data, a tool called NHL Green Metrics was used. But the information technology (IT) infrastructure it was built on became outdated and needed to be replaced with a more modern platform.

Added Mitchell, “Modernizing our environmental data collection platform was a Herculean task. So we looked to our longstanding technology partner and expert SAP to build a solution that would ultimately help us achieve these sustainability objectives.”

The SAP works with technology companies, leading non-Governmental organizations (NGOs), management consulting firms, sustainability ratings platforms, and standards-setting organizations to accelerate sustainable business.

The company has also collaborated with the NHL on the transformation of its statistics platform on NHL.com and the introduction of new, enhanced statistics that established NHL.com/Stats as the definitive destination for hockey analytics.

The partnership also produced the SAP-NHL Coaching Insights App for the iPad. The app provides realtime, customizable player statistics and data visualizations at coaches’ fingertips during games, helping them make adjustments and tactical decisions quickly.

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