He’s listed as one of the 50 most influential people in sports business and he has a message for Australia’s grassroots clubs.
Dr Allen Hershkowitz has been delivering sustainability advice to iconic baseball outfit the New York Yankees for more than a decade and recently brought his message Down Under.
The environmental scientist took time out to speak to Clubbies about working with the MLB, the Australian Open and the big impacts small clubs can have on the environmental front line.
New York Yankees
Last year, in a first for pro sports, the Yankees appointed Hershkowitz as their Environmental Science Advisor. The appointment formalises what the native New Yorker had been doing for years – helping turn Yankee Stadium into a zero-waste economy. It’s that kind of commitment that has seen 85 percent of their waste diverted from landfills.
So what will change? We asked Hershkowitz for his take on the ground-breaking new position.
“The Yankees are a very cautious, responsible organisation so it’s not like they’re just going to bring in an environmentalist they didn’t know. The fact is we have been working together successfully for 10 years on circular economy issues, recycling, waste reduction, energy efficiency, climate impacts, fan education, safe chemicals. But given the latest information coming from the scientific community – and the commitment of the (club’s) leadership and ownership to environmental issues – they decided to create this unique position.
“Once they did that I have to tell you that from my own personal experience that information went around the world really quick. I got about a thousand tweets from places that were sending me tweets in languages where I couldn’t even understand the letters. Overwhelmingly it was a good thing. Other teams have been inspired to replicate what the Yankees have done and I’ve been in contact with more than a dozen teams and leagues that are now contemplating doing the same thing.”