The NBA, including its dedicated NBA Green initiative, is making remarkable progress in promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. Through various initiatives, the NBA demonstrates its strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
With a forward-thinking vision, the NBA leverages the power of basketball to drive positive change and contribute to a brighter future. Given its extensive platform and wide-reaching audience, the NBA effectively advances ESG principles through strategic partnerships, events, and initiatives that inspire individuals, organizations, and communities alike.
The NBA’s “green” logo! The practice of environmental awareness starts with the players
One notable endeavor undertaken by the NBA is NBA Green Week, which was initiated in 2009 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This annual event raises awareness on environmental issues and fosters a greater understanding of sustainability’s importance. In addition, the NBA committed to halving emissions by 2030 and pursuing net zero emissions by 2040. When asked about how the NBA plans to execute this claim, Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, highlighted several specific examples of how the league tackles issues regarding the climate. “We’ve made changes in the schedule to reduce the travel, saying that if a team is going to LA, it may seem like a simple thing, but play the Lakers and the Clippers in the same trip rather than crisscrossing across the country separate times. That can make a difference,” said Silver, emphasizing the importance of optimizing team travel to reduce carbon emissions and lessen pollution.
Furthermore, as part of the NBA Green Week 2010, players were outfitted with new gear generously provided by Adidas. This gear incorporated sustainable materials, such as shooting shirts made from 50 percent recycled polyester, adorned with the NBA’s ‘Green’ logo. Players received headbands, wristbands, and socks crafted from 45 percent organic cotton, further exemplifying the NBA’s commitment to environmentally conscious practices.
In recent years, the NBA has extended its efforts to safeguard the community and contribute to environmental well-being, exemplified by its commitment to Earth Day 2023. Organizing various activities to promote sustainable practices and preserve nature, the Association facilitated tree-planting initiatives, beach cleanups, garbage collection, and recycling efforts, fostering a cleaner and healthier environment. Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, an environmental scientist and one of the founders of NBA Green, eloquently expressed the importance of leveraging sports to educate and drive behavior change. He highlighted, “Less than 20% of adults in the United States follow science, and over 80% follow sports. So, if you want to educate people and hopefully change behavior, you need to meet people where they’re at.” Hershkowitz further underscored the significance of sports as a platform, pointing out the impact it can have in reaching a wider audience and fostering positive environmental action.
This proactive approach, coupled with the NBA’s NBA Green initiatives and other actions, showcases the organization’s dedication to social responsibility and its role in inspiring positive change beyond the realm of basketball. By engaging both players and the wider community, the NBA actively encourages environmental consciousness and reinforces the importance of taking action to protect our planet.