Dr. Allen Hershkowitz has been at or near the center of most of the major advances that have taken place at the intersection of Green & Sports since the early 2000s. From greening the Philadelphia Eagles operations in 2004 to helping to establish Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Initiative for Sustainable Ballpark Operations in 2005 to launching the environmental programs at the NBA, NHL, MLS and USTA; from being a founder of the Green Sports Alliance to Sport and Sustainability International (SandSI), Hershkowitz has done and seen it all.
Given his perspective, it is not surprising that the Environmental Science Advisor to the New York Yankees understands the cultural and market influence that sports and athletes in particular have to make a significant difference on environmental and climate literacy. And that is why Hershkowitz decided to become an EcoAthletes supporter.
“Studies have shown that outside of the family, the most influential role models are athletes and entertainers, in that order,” noted Hershkowitz. “Having worked with some of the world’s most prominent athletes and celebrities to promote environmental and climate literacy, including Billie Jean King, Venus Williams, Lisa Leslie, Leo DiCaprio, Bob Redford, and others, and having had conversations with trainers and psychologists who have worked with A-list athletes like Roger Federer and others, I have seen firsthand how challenging it is to incorporate our agenda into their many diverse commercial activities and social priorities. Pulling athletes together on this issue collectively under the EcoAthletes umbrella might help mobilize them in a way that has not been previously done, and this is why I’m excited to be part of this important initiative.”
Hershkowitz acknowledged that making a real difference on climate will take a concerted, long-term effort from a myriad of EcoAthletes.
“Let’s be frank: We are working on unresolvable issues that humanity will have to manage forever,” Hershkowitz acknowledged. “Like racism, gender bias, and many other social justice issues, promoting environmental and climate literacy, managing the chemistry of the atmosphere, protecting the oceans, fighting deforestation, slowing the spread of toxic chemicals and waste, these problems impose an unending obligation that humanity must focus on forever. Every organization, every individual has to play a part. Harnessing the voices of those who are particularly influential culturally and in the marketplace is essential. Success will be defined by how many culture shaping personalities join us in this never ending struggle, and how authentic their own personal behavior is on this issue.”
EcoAthletes founder Lew Blaustein looks forward to working with Hershkowitz to bring ‘culture shaping’ sports stars into the fold.
“Allen Hershkowitz is arguably the most consequential environmental advocate in the history of North American sports, and beyond. Based on almost 30 years as Senior Scientist at NRDC, he understands that the environmental challenges humanity faces, including climate changes, are dire and massive,” shared Blaustein. “He also knows that athletes will need to speak out on climate to help humanity have a real chance to turn down the heat on the climate crisis. Having him as an EcoAthletes Supporter means he is a resource we can call on to help us deploy athletes to jumpstart the #ClimateComeback.”
Follow Allen Hershkowitz on Twitter at @drhershkowitz
Photo at top: Allen Hershkowitz (r) and New York Yankees Manager Aaron Boone at a 2019 Earth Day Celebration at Yankee Stadium (Photo credit: New York Yankees)