Allen Hershkowitz

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Dr. Allen Hershkowitz
AHersh Headshot.jpg

Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D. is a Founding Director of Sport and Sustainability International, a coalition of the world’s leading sports federations, leagues, teams and venues committed to leveraging the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable and just communities.[1] Dr. Hershkowitz is also the co-founder and former president of the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit bringing together the top U.S. sports teams, leagues and venues to integrate environmental stewardship throughout their strategic design and operations.[2] Previously, Dr. Hershkowitz served as a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council for 26 years, from 1988 and 2014.

Referred to as the "The Godfather of Greening" for his environmental work in the sports industry,[3] Dr. Hershkowitz was listed as one of the "50 Most Influential People in Sports Business" in the December 2015 Sports Business Journal[4] and as one of “The 60 Most Powerful People In Sports” in the March 2016 issue of Worth Magazine. According to GreenSportsBlog[5], "it is no exaggeration to say that Hershkowitz is the most consequential environmentalist in the history of North American sports.”


Dr. Hershkowitz joined the NRDC senior staff in 1988. He was the force behind some of the organization’s most effective and visible initiatives on issues including sustainable development, recycling, forestry, paper industry impacts, mountaintop coal mining, waste incineration, and medical wastes. While at NRDC, he was the director of the Sports and Entertainment Greening Project, the Solid Waste Project and the Paper Industry Project. His work on the Sports Greening Project in 2012 earned the Beyond Sport “Sport and the Environment Award” at a pre-Olympics event in London.

Dr. Hershkowitz has also led the charge in the greening of American icons and entertainment groups. He is the co-founder of the Broadway Green Alliance, where he currently serves on the Steering Committee. He helped lead the greening of Warner Music Group. He is also the environmental advisor to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SciencesOscars telecast and the GRAMMY Awards. Dr. Hershkowitz designed the greening of the 2007-2013 Academy Awards,[6] and the 50th, 51st and 52nd GRAMMY Awards.[7]

Dr. Hershkowitz is the environmental advisor to many professional sports leagues, including the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, NASCAR, the USTA, Major League Baseball, and many individual professional teams. Dr. Hershkowitz helped establish environmental programs for Major League Baseball,[8] the National Basketball Association,[9] the U.S. Tennis Association,[10] the National Hockey League[11] and Major League Soccer environmental programs. His work earned him the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 Environmental Merit Award.[12] Dr. Hershkowitz also served on the 2011 NCAA Final Four Sustainability Committee.

The 21st United Nations Climate Conference of Parties (COP21)

In December 2015 Dr. Hershkowitz co-directed and curated two summits at the United Nations’ COP 21 climate negotiations in Paris: the Sustainable Innovation in Sport summit held at the Stade de France and the Solutions COP platform held at the Grand Palais.[13][14] Top leagues and venues from the international sports industry, including representatives from the NFL, the NHL, Roland Garros and UEFA, made presentations on the need to address climate change. These summits marked the first time the sports industry participated in a United Nations Climate Conference of Parties, underscoring the urgency with which the $1.3 trillion global sports industry, among the world’s most influential economic and cultural sectors, views the urgent threat of climate change.[15]

The Vatican “Sports At the Service of Humanity” Conference

In October 2016 Dr. Hershkowitz was the only environmental scientist invited to present at the “Sports At the Service of Humanity” conference, which was hosted by Pope Francis at the Vatican. The meeting convened faith and sports leaders from around the world to discuss how sports can promote peace, inclusion and environmental stewardship.[16]

Corporate and Governmental Advisory Work

Dr. Hershkowitz has served as an environmental advisor to corporations such as Delos, DuPont, Disney, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Hugo Neu and Sims Metal Management in their sustainability initiatives. His international public policy work includes protecting ecologically compromised areas in Belize,[17] fragile Appalachian ecosystems threatened by mountaintop removal coal mining,[18] the boreal forest[19] and other ecologically threatened areas. Dr. Hershkowitz led negotiations in NRDC’s 2006 forestry protection settlement with Bowater Paper Company,[20] which led to protection of the Cumberland Plateau region. He founded “Testing the Waters,” NRDC’s annual documentation of beach closures. In 1989 Dr. Hershkowitz was a delegate to the United Nations Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, where he worked to prevent the dumping by high-income, industrialized countries into less developed economies. Dr. Hershkowitz regularly advises government, NGO and corporate officials in the U.S., Europe, Central America and Japan and testifies frequently before government agencies, House and Senate Congressional committees, and state and local agencies.[21]

University Teaching

Dr. Hershkowitz served as Distinguished Visiting Faculty in Sustainability Management in the 2014-2015 academic year at the Presidio Graduate School, where he taught an MBA-level course on Sustainability and Sports. He has been invited to lecture at universities throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, Columbia Business School, Haas School of Business at Berkeley, Duke University School of Law, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, University of London, New York University, Tufts University Filene Center for Environmental Science, International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS), and many other universities.[22]


Hershkowitz served as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory Board Subcommittee on Sludge Incineration.[23] Other appointments include the Principal Contractor for the United States Congressional Office of Technology Assessment's Report to Congress on Municipal Solid Waste Management.[24][not in citation given]

Personal Life

Dr. Hershkowitz grew up in Brooklyn and currently resides in Waccabuc, New York. He is married to Dale Clearwater. He has three children, Dylan, Lea, and Connor.



  1. ^ Camus, Benjamin. "Sport and Sustainability International". 
  2. ^ Sports Alliance, Green. "Green Sports Alliance President Allen Hershkowitz to Retire". AthleticBusiness. Athletic Business. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Dubrovsky, Anna. "The Godfather of Greening" (PDF). Yoga + Joyful Living. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  4. ^ Madkour, Abe. "50 Most Influential: Introduction". American City Business Journals. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^, By Larry West
  7. ^ LA Times, Greenspace Blog, By Susan Carpenter
  8. ^, “Phils to lead clean energy movement: By Andy Jasner
  9. ^, “Magic Support NBA Green Week 2010”
  10. ^ Reuse Long Island, “The Reuse Revolution: The U.S. Open You Didn't See” By Amanda Wills
  11. ^ ., “Mike Richter goes green with NHL panel at Fenway” By Bob Condor
  12. ^
  13. ^ Blaustein, Lew. "The Paris Tragedy, COP21 and the Sustainable Innovation in Sport Symposium". GreenSportsBlog. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  14. ^ Hershkowitz, Allen. "Paris Moves the Ball Forward on Climate". Green Sports Alliance. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Nelson, Adam. "Sustainable Innovation in Sport: leading the line in the battle against climate change". SportsPro. SportsPro Media Limited. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  16. ^ San Martín, Inés. "Pope tells sports summit that integrity matters more than victory". Crux. Crux Catholic Media Inc. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  17. ^ “Victory in Belize”
  18. ^ Huffington Post, “Country Stars Come Out Against Mountaintop Removal,” By Rob Perks
  19. ^ Living Green Magazine, “Americans Are Flushing Old Growth Forests Down the Toilet” By Richard Kujawski
  20. ^ Appalachian Voices, “Conservationists, Industry Reach Historic Agreement to Protect Forests on the Cumberland Plateau” By Matt Wasson
  21. ^ Huffington Post., Inc.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "Laurie David and Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D". Huffington Post., Inc. 
  23. ^$File/OW+SLUDGE+REGULATION++EEC-89-035_89035_5-22-1995_249.pdf
  24. ^

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