Nets, Barclays to offset carbon emissions as investment in clean energy

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets will support four worldwide projects to offset carbon emissions when they play the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.

"We're definitely the first NBA team to have a carbon neutral game," said Julianne Waldron, the Nets' environmental manager. "I don't know if we're the first sports franchise, I can't speak to that, but I can say we are the first pro team to receive an accreditation of carbon neutral."

The CarbonNeutral Company calculated that 449 tons of carbon dioxide would be produced Tuesday by fans and Nets' personnel traveling to the game, energy use at the Izod Center and emissions from the 76ers bus trip from Philadelphia.

To offset that, the Nets will invest in a waste recovery project in India, a waste gas project in Germany, hydroplants in China and solar water heating systems in India.

Barclays PLC, the financial services firm which has bought naming rights for the Nets' planned arena in Brooklyn, N.Y., is covering the cost of the carbon free night.

"It's not a donation, it's actually an investment in clean energy," Waldron said.

Waldron declined to put a price tag on the night, but said the cost of carbon investment can range from $8 a ton to $20-plus a ton. As part of the evening, the Nets and Barclays will educate fans on what it means to be carbon neutral and what fans can do daily to help the environment.

In January, the Nets launched 'Netsgogreen.com' as an educational resource for fans to learn about energy conservation, global warming, sustainability, recycling, water conversation and other environmental matters.

"Being CarbonNeutral is an important step as we change our own behaviors and lead the way in environmental and sustainable initiatives in the sports and entertainment industries," Nets chief executive Brett Yormark said. "We have a social responsibility to do our part to combat climate change, but it also makes smart business sense."