a space to share thoughts and ideas and to stimulate discussion around the space where business meets society. And to think collectively and creatively about how to create and preserve value at the meeting/collision point where business meets society.
For all you readers
from around the world, I’m Canadian and love hockey – ice hockey – so you will
see occasional topics like this. For my Field Hockey friends - Ice Hockey is
Hockey Proper! :)
Seriously though, the
NHL Sustainability Report is good. It does what it says it will do, discuss the
effort and results the league and various teams are achieving as they work to
reduce their environmental footprint.
They are clear that is
what the report aims to do, Commissioner Bettman's letter states "The
purpose of the 2014 NHL SUSTAINABILITY REPORT is to address our recent efforts
and the challenges we face from an environmental perspective."
Report contained a lot of good efforts and good information. But, there was a
lot of good work and valuable impact that wasn’t included. I’m not sure why
they didn't include the great work that players, teams and even the league are
doing to support people, communities and important social causes. I think it
should have been, especially when they went so far as to mention players on the
But, I’ve seen other
major players and great communicators make similar mistakes that ended up
leaving a lot of value on the table for good works that they are already doing.
NHL teams support and
sponsor all kinds of outreach and support in the community, touching hundreds
of worthwhile charities and efforts and raising many millions of dollars for
They also spend time
and money supporting and engaging with minor hockey. And, each team has many
other things that they do to help make the community a better place.
Sure, this is all part
of their marketing but so what. The best and most sustainable CSR happens when
there is an alignment between community interests and business interests.
Nearly all players
also give back to the community in some way, with some of them making major
efforts. They are supporting a range of projects and causes and having real
positive impacts on programs, people and communities.
Many players reach far
beyond hockey and use their profile and personal wealth to help make a
difference in the world.
Some players take
their efforts international. And, I suspect if there was some organized support
you would find more players making efforts to support people and projects in
remote areas and emerging economies.
I live on Southern
Vancouver Island in Canada, home to some great players and our local boys truly
do us proud with the work they do in the off-season to support local causes and
help local kids. They set a great example for my son and the thousands of other
young players who see these NHL players coming home and giving back.
Ryan O'Byrne's camp, which has many local NHL players donating time and helping out, has helped over 200 Greater Victoria, BC to get into sport.
Nashville Predators' Mike Fisher, Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators and Kevin Bieksa of the Vancouver Canucks helped World Vision to create awareness on the food crisis int eh Sahel http://youtu.be/ewT_TLjSuVg
There are other
examples of players working with development organizations, or sometimes even
on their own, to help address international development issues.
I believe there could
be a lot more if more was done to support and encourage it (and to communicate
it in reports like the NHL Sustainability Report).
All of that good work
is happening every day. By the teams and the players. I don’t understand why
that was left out of the NHL’s Sustainability Report. The league, the players,
the teams and owners and society itself would have benefited from telling that
The 2014 NHL
Sustainability Report tells a great environmental story, about important
environmental efforts being made by teams and the league itself.
It could have told a
bigger story and shared about the wonderful work the teams and players are
doing in society. It would have been valuable for the league, the teams, the
players and society.
of CSR communications principles could have created more value for all
stakeholders, at virtually no cost.
Maybe they had a
reason not to mention the social and charitable work of teams and player? If
so, I’d love to find out. Because it doesn't make sense to me that they didn't.
I’d love to hear from
anyone with insight into this. You can
reach me at