SEATTLE, WASH. - On Wednesday, June 19, the Green Sports Alliance will present its annual Environmental Leadership Award and Environmental Innovators of the Year awards at a ceremony held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The awards, now in their seventh year, recognize and applaud the best in sports and sustainability. Sounders FC is being recognized as a 2019 Environmental Innovator of the Year, acknowledging the Rave Green's work in the sports greening movement.
Earlier this year, Sounders FC announced its intention to embrace carbon neutrality beginning in 2019 and going forward, marking the club as the first professional franchise of the five major leagues in the United States (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS) and first professional soccer club in North America to make such a commitment. The move to carbon neutrality came as a logical extension to the team's longtime dedication to sustainable, green practices.
Through its carbon neutral promise, Sounders FC pledges that its operations will make no net contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading cause of the climate crises. The team worked with Seattle-based Sustainable Business Consulting to calculate its greenhouse gas emissions and develop plans to reduce its impacts where possible. For sources unable to be eliminated - such as team travel for matches, scouting and other business - Sounders FC is offsetting emissions through the Evergreen Carbon Capture (ECC) program of Forterra, a nonprofit that works for regional sustainability.
In late February, Sounders FC invited fans to join Head Coach Brian Schmetzer and players, including Cristian Roldan pictured right, in planting trees alongside volunteers from Forterra and DIRT Corps. The club and its fans planted 10% more trees than needed to offset its current carbon footprint and is committed to continuing the offset program indefinitely.
Those interested can learn more about Sounders FC's dedication to sustainability at SoundersFC.com/Community-Outreach/Sustainability.
A selection of other leaders in sports sustainability will also be recognized at June's awards presentation, which is the highlight of the Alliance's Green Sports Celebration, part of its annual Green Sports Alliance Summit.