Green Sports Alliance Ushers in New Era of Influence

Green Sports Alliance Ushers in New Era of Influence
November 24, 2014
Posted by:
Alex Tryon

Dr. Allen Hershkowitz and Justin Zeulner Join the Green Sports Alliance to Lead Expanded Team and Programs Focused on Burgeoning Green Sports MovementFormer NRDC Senior Scientist named President; joined by new COO Justin ZeulnerThe Green Sports Alliance (GSA), a non-profit that promotes environmental stewardship among sports teams, venues, leagues, fans and industry stakeholders, has elected renowned environmentalist Dr. Allen Hershkowitz as President and Justin Zeulner, a leader in the greening of professional sports, as Chief Operating Officer to head an expanded team and spectrum of new programs and partnerships during a time of unprecedented growth for the organization.Dr. Hershkowitz joins the GSA from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) where he served as Senior Scientist and Sports Program Director for 26 years. Throughout his influential career, Dr. Hershkowitz, a GSA co-founder, has led the movement to take environmental stewardship mainstream by collaborating with iconic organizations including professional sports leagues and major entertainment groups. To read more about Dr. Hershkowitz click here.GSA co-founding board member Justin Zeulner joins the organization as Chief Operating Officer. Zeulner was formerly Senior Project Developer of philanthropic campaigns at Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. Previously, he also served as Director of Sustainability and Public Affairs for the Portland Trail Blazers. To read more about Zeulner click here.The GSA has grown rapidly since it was established four years ago, demonstrating the sports industry’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship. The organization today works with nearly 300 teams, venues and universities from 20 different leagues, including MLB, MLS, the NBA, the NHL, the NLL, USTA, and WNBA. To see the complete list of GSA members click here.“Following four years of exceptional growth, we are delighted to attract Dr. Allen Hershkowitz and Justin Zeulner to our leadership team, and to offer expanded programs to our members and partners,” said Scott Jenkins, Chairman of the Board of the GSA. “Allen is a change agent who was instrumental in developing the very concept of sports greening. Justin was responsible for solidifying the Portland Trail Blazers’ reputation as one of the global leaders in advancing sustainability in sports. We look forward to expanding our capacity to help protect the environment and strengthen our communities by greening the sports industry.”Dr. Hershkowitz and Mr. Zeulner have served on the board of directors for the GSA since its inception. As a part of the GSA’s growth, they will co-lead an expanded team of talented environmental and business professionals and programs dedicated to guiding the GSA’s members and sports industry stakeholders in greening efforts.The GSA also brings together sports professionals with environmental experts to learn about better practices and develop solutions to environmental challenges that are both innovative and cost competitive. NRDC, among the world’s leading environmental organizations and a champion in combatting climate change, was a co-founder of the GSA.“NRDC’s collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance will deepen as it enters this new chapter of expansion,” said Frances Beinecke, President of NRDC. “NRDC has a long history of spawning innovative initiatives and spinning-off successful organizations, and we take tremendous pride in the exponential growth of the environmental movement fostered by these efforts. I am very proud of Allen, a longstanding member of our NRDC family, and know that Green Sports Alliance will rise to unprecedented heights with him at the helm.”The following professional sports leaders responded with statements in support of the Green Sports Alliance and the future of the green sports movement.Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Major League Baseball:

  • Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: “Baseball is a social institution with many significant social responsibilities to our communities. As such, we consider it a duty to contribute to the protection of our natural resources for future generations. Our 30 Clubs are fully committed to operating in environmentally-conscious ways. With the support of the Green Sports Alliance, Major League Baseball is privileged to do its part to protect the environment and to set a positive example for our fans across the globe.”

Kathy Behrens, National Basketball Association:

  • “The NBA is committed to supporting greening initiatives that help improve efficiency with our events and at our facilities while also raising awareness among our fans,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA Executive Vice President, Social Responsibility and Player Programs. “Allen Hershkowitz and the Green Sports Alliance have served as tremendous resources to us in our ongoing sustainability efforts and we look forward to their guidance to help us maximize new opportunities in the future.”

Gary Bettman, National Hockey League:

  • "Major environmental challenges such as climate change and fresh water scarcity impact communities everywhere, which is why the National Hockey League and its 30 member Clubs remain committed to sustainable business practices,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We look forward to continuing this important work with the Green Sports Alliance because this effort is the right thing to do for the environment and is enormously meaningful to the long-term success of our League."