SOUNDERS FC'S DEDICATION TO SUSTAINABILITY

Sounders FC is proud to announce that we are the first carbon neutral professional soccer team in North America.

In 2019 and beyond, we are committed to continuing to lead the way with our ongoing sustainability efforts internally, in the community, and in partnership with Washington Green Schools.

Plant the Change

Thank you to our 135 volunteers who came out to help us plant 370 trees! Special thank you to Forterra and DIRT Corps.


CLIMATE AND CARBON NEUTRALITY

Carbon Footprint

Sounders FC worked in collaboration with Seattle-based Sustainable Business Consulting to calculate its Greenhouse Gas emissions and identify opportunities to reduce its impacts wherever possible.

Climate Neutrality

Sounders FC have partnered with Forterra to offset 100% of the carbon emissions we are not able to reduce ourselves. Our team, staff, and fans will be planting trees in one of our RAVE Foundation targeted communities to help improve the air and water quality where we live and work.

For detailed information about our carbon offset program, please visit our FAQ.

 

EFFORTS TO ADVANCE SUSTAINABILITY

Internal Auditing

While we cannot reduce our team’s air travel, we are working aggressively to lower our impacts through integrating sustainable behavior in our Front Office formalizing a cross-departmental Green Team to introduce composting, educating our staffers on energy and waste reduction, and influencing commuting habits.

Education and Empowerment of Youth on Sustainability

Through our partnership with WA Green Schools and our Rave Green Certification, we have volunteered over 100 hours in 2018 alone towards educating youth on sustainability and empowering youth to make sustainable changes in their communities.

External Engagement

Sounders FC and CenturyLink Field are committed to providing sustainable options for our fans.

Sounders FC transitioned to digital ticketing away from paper, which has saved hundreds of trees allowing fans to pull up their ticket on their phones through our Sounders FC app.

Over the last two years we conducted surveys with our fans to understand how they were commuting to CenturyLink Field and determine environmentally friendly options for them to get to our home matches. Partnering with CenturyLink Field, Sounders FC doubled the size of our Bike Valet which serves as a secure site for fans who bike to the match. In 2018, the Bike Valet accommodated over 500 bicycles per match.

LEARN MORE

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 1. What is a Carbon Offset?

An Offset reduces, avoids, or sequesters the equivalent of one ton of CO2e in one place to “offset” of an equal amount of CO2e somewhere else in the world. Sounders FC is purchasing carbon offsets to offset those greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that it cannot reduce internally. It is purchasing enough offsets to account for 100% of its carbon emissions.  

Benefits of this type of financial support

  • Allows Sounders FC to lower its climate impact beyond what can currently be achieved through internal efforts
  • Funds emissions reduction projects in our local community by planting trees that will sequester carbon and help clean the water and air in Puget Sound, while keeping the money here locally with a community non-profit. 
 2. Why did we choose Forterra as our Offset provider?

We chose Forterra for a few reasons. Their mission is aligned with Sounders FC sustainability goals as their mission is to secure land for a sustainable future.

Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture Program helps area companies and households take positive action on the climate crisis by offsetting their carbon emissions through tree-planting.

They are the leading provider here in the Puget Sound for carbon offset projects. Sounders FC will actually be able to put trees into the ground that will sequester enough carbon to fully offset all of our emissions and clean up the air and water in the Puget Sound, while supporting a local non-profit that will put money into the pockets of local people, and offer us a project where our staff, team, fans, and partners can participate.

 3. What type of Offset project did we select?

Sounders FC looked at a variety of different offset projects but chose to support a local tree planting project in the greater Seattle area.

The plot, chosen expressly for the Sounders this year, is located at Point Rediscovery on Hamm Creek in Burien. Hamm Creek is one of just two salmon-spawning creeks along the Duwamish River, and Point Rediscovery is an especially important part of the creek, intersecting with estuary and providing habitat where juvenile salmon can feast and fatten before making their way to Puget Sound. Beside removing CO2 and improving air quality, planting trees at Point Rediscovery will create shade, moderating rising water temperatures. The trees will also filter contaminants, improving water quality for fish and other wildlife.

 4. What percent of our investment goes to the Offsets as opposed to an administration fee?

Sourcing, administering, maintaining and verifying projects costs money. The amount that Sounders FC pays covers this and the offsets, with these administrative costs in line or lower than what most non-profits take as overhead for charitable donations.

 5. Don't offsets just allow us to keep polluting and not make the tough decisions that we will eventually need to make?

No. Sounders FC has been and will continue to make strides to reduce its own operational emissions. We view offsets as an intermediate step. We shall first look to reduce where we can, and for those areas where we presently cannot, use offsets as part of our overall strategy for lowering our environmental impact.

 6. How do we know these offset projects are ocurring?

Sounders FC had the ability to choose the specific projects we wanted to support and will actually be able to put the trees in the ground themselves. Forterra will keep track of the trees throughout their growth to make sure they don’t die and continue to sequester the carbon they are designed to do.

 7. Is it just greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a term used to describe a false or exaggerated claim, where a company tries to make itself sound better than it is performing. Sounders FC is not doing this as we are being transparent about how this is an intermediate step while we identify how we can directly reduce our emissions.

 8. Are we doing this just to look good on Earth Day?

No. Sounders FC has made a leadership commitment not only in MLS, but in the local and global sports scene by becoming the first professional soccer team in North America to become carbon neutral, and one of less than five teams in the world.

 9. Why is Sounders FC offsetting instead of directly participating in global reduction agreements like COP21?

Sounders FC has been and continues to find solutions for efficiency and conservation across the globe, but the path to emissions reductions is long and we do not have direct control over all emissions sources (MLS schedule, air travel plans related to tournaments, league matches, Concacaf matches, US Open Cup, etc.). While we work towards the direct reductions needed, Sounders FC has identified offsets as the best interim course of action.

 10. Can I offset my individual emissions from my home, commute and personal travel?

We leave this decision up to each individual. Sounders FC shall not be offsetting employees’ personal offsets. If you are interested, there are several websites and offset providers that provide this service.

 


SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERS