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Back in May 2007, the Montreal Canadiens organization launched what has since been known as the Goal is Green programme. An ambitious and vast initiative with the objective of position the club as a leader in terms of environmental management and sustainable development among all professional sports franchises.

The Goal is Green was initially introduced as part of the franchise’s 100th anniversary before becoming an initiative of its own with specific objectives. Its mission was described as follows:

“Make the Montreal Canadiens a leader on the ice and in the community through programmes aimed at reducing its ecological footprint by going green and adapt its practices and resources towards an environmental change and encourage its important fan base to follow in its footsteps.”

Team achievements

Since it was first created the Goal is Green program has contributed to significantly reduce the Bell Centre’s ecological footprint.

Shortly after it was launched, a comprehensive review of all Bell Centre operations was conducted to identify the areas and practices of the building that were not up to par with the environmental standards. Several improvements and modifications to a number of equipment were implemented and would be a key factor in the Bell Centre earning three environmental certifications, setting it apart from all professional sports venues in North America. The three certifications include ICI ON RECYCLE! (level 3), LEED-EB (existing buildings) and ISO 14001.


As proof of its performance in the management of residual materials, the Bell Centre was awarded the ICI ON RECYCLE! certification from the RECYC-QUÉBEC in 2008.

In 2012, this certification was renewed with the “silver” level, thus indicating that the Bell Centre recycles and composts over 80% of its residual materials. Prior to the implementation of structured programs and a team dedicated to sorting through all materials, less than 25% of the Bell Centre residual materials were being recycled. With those measures in place the Bell Centre improved its ecological results by 300% and reduced the quantity of trash material by 37% between 2010 and 2014, the equivalent of 94 tons annually (the equivalent of roughly 12 garbage collection trucks).

LEED-EB (existing buildings)

The Bell Centre was awarded the LEED certification for Existing Buildings (US version) on October 13, 2009. The LEED rating system (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is recognized internationally as a symbol of excellence for design, construction and management of high performance green buildings in over 132 countries.

Here are a few of the technical specifications and measures that contributed to the Bell Centre meeting some 50 standards towards being awarded the LEED certification:
  • Implementation of an appropriate management plan for exterior building maintenance and access areas;
  • Increased use of alternative by a majority of employees (public transportation, active transportation, car pooling and environmentally friendly cars);
  • Reduction of the heat island factor using underground parking;
  • Installation of more efficient toilets and faucets leading to a 20% reduction of overall water consumption;
  • Efficient management of cooling towers used for ice conditioning;
  • Installation of building automated control system;
  • Optimization of the overall energy consumption;
  • Decrease of the greenhouse gas emissions by 28%;
  • Introduction of purchasing policies leading to the equivalent of 80% of all purchases to include recycled products and/or made locally and/or reused materials;
  • Diversion rate of residual materials now reaches 80%;
  • Monitoring and control of the temperature and ventilation systems in real time;
  • Evaluation of cleaning methods and products;
  • Use environmentally friendly products.

ISO 14001

The Bell Centre was awarded the ISO 14001 on November 16, 2009. The ISO 14001 is the most internationally recognized standard of our Environmental Management System (EMS). It helps organizations better evaluate and manage the impacts of their activities on the environment in terms of environmental regulations.

This certification requires that the organization improves its environmental performance each year. To achieve this, the Bell Centre regularly works with university groups R&D teams and innovative companies.
Improving the Fan Experience

Over and above the improvements made by the organization as part of the Goal is Green program, the Montreal Canadiens have introduced several measures that had an impact on the general public, such as:

  • Dedicating the three best parking spaces in the Bell Centre parking to electrical or rechargeable hybrid cars. For your information, the Bell Centre now features two charge ports in the underground parking.

  • Installation of 945 three-tier recycling bins in the various halls and offices throughout the building.

  • Switching over to another type of plastic used in the production of beer glasses, going from 1,000 years to decompose to a mere three months for the new plastic.

  • Over the past few years, the Bell Centre washrooms were equipped with new hand dryers that dry hands three times as fast while requiring three times less energy. That’s not all, the Quebec-made hand-dryers are 80% made from recycled material.

  • The Bell Centre hallways have been equipped with charge ports for smart phones.

  • Compensation of over 1,000 tons of CO2 equivalent and purchase if energy credits in collaboration with the NHL.

  • Left-over food from concession stands and private suites are being distributed to local food banks. In 2014, over 32 tons of food were donated to La Maison du Père and La Tablée des chefs. Those two initiatives were recognized during the Semaine Québécoise de réduction des déchets and resulted in the Bell Centre being awarded top prize of the Défi ICI for its efficiency against food waste.

  • Active participation in the international Une heure pour la Terre event.

  • Installation de 140 lamps with light-emitting diode (LED) used to light the ice surface making it 65% more efficient in energy saving while improving the color viewing.


As part of the Goal is Green program, the Canadiens recently launched the “Plantons un arbre” initiative which aims at promoting reforestation in various areas of the province where there is a crying need for trees, and particularly in abandoned agricultural areas near lakes hit been hit by the cyanobacteria (blue-green alage) etc.

With the help of Tree Canada, the Montreal Canadiens planted a tree for each hockey stick broken during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, which resulted in planting 281 and 262 trees respectively.

TREE CANADA is a not for profit organization that specializes in putting together programs in collaboration with local companies and communities to develop and preserve the environment through forestation initiatives in both rural and urban areas.

Upcoming projects
The organization is committed to continue expanding the Goal is Green program towards the renewing of our LEED certification for existing buildings (Canadian version). The Bell Centre is also looking at replacing several food bins as a way to improve its management of residual materials.

Help us continue our efforts to reduce our environmental imprint by sending us your ideas at : pensezvert@centrebell.ca.

Updated December 3, 2015

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