Obama Congratulates Pittsburgh Penguins for Stanley Cup Win, Sustainability Focus

Penguins stanley cup

President Barack Obama congratulated the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon for more than just their recent Stanley Cup victory: he also touted the team’s commitment to sustainability.

Obama kicked off his remarks at the White House with a round of applause for American-born Penguins forward Phil Kessel and some boasting that he’s the first president in history to welcome eight Stanley Cup champions to the White House (sorry, all of Canada).

However, Obama then moved on to praise the Penguins for their participation in the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit that works with sports leagues and teams to promote renewable energy, efficient water use and other environmentally preferable practices.

“The Pens have been leaders in the Green Sports Alliance: making their facilities more energy and water efficient, lowering their carbon footprint as they travel,” Obama said.

The Penguins play their home games at the PPG Paints Arena (formerly known as CONSOL Energy Center), the only arena in the National Hockey League to receive a gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, according to the arena’s website.

Obama also thanked NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for the league’s overall commitment to sustainability efforts. The NHL received a 2015 Green Power Leadership Award from the EPA and, through a partnership with Constellation Energy Group, has fully offset its carbon footprint for the last two seasons.

“I want to thank Commissioner Bettman and the entire NHL for leading the way in environmentally-sustainable sports because we want to continue to have ice so that we can play hockey,” Obama said.