SOUNDERS FC'S DEDICATION TO SUSTAINABILITY
Sounders FC is proud to be the first carbon neutral professional soccer team in North America.
In 2019 and beyond, we are committed leading the way in the community, internally and alongside our partners with our ongoing sustainability efforts.
Plant the Change
CLIMATE AND CARBON NEUTRALITY
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.
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
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 volunteered over 500 hours in 2018 towards educating youth on sustainability and empowering youth to make sustainable changes in their communities.
Sounders FC and CenturyLink Field are committed to providing sustainable options for our fans.
Over 83% of Sounders FC season ticket members use digital ticketing, which has saved us from unnecessarily printing paper tickets and saves hundreds of trees. With digital ticketing, fans can pull up tickets on their phone via the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.