MLS club makes carbon neutral commitment

MLS club makes carbon neutral commitment

Working with Sustainable Business Consulting and Forterra, Seattle Sounders pledge to reduce carbon impact and offset all unavoidable emissions

Major League Soccer franchise, Seattle Sounders FC, has pledged to become carbon neutral in 2019 – making it the first professional football team in North America to do so.

Working with Sustainable Business Consulting, a firm based in the city, the Sounders will calculate greenhouse gas emissions with a commitment to reduce what it can and offset the unavoidable emissions it can’t, such as player travel for matches (see emissions breakdown in the graphic below).

Unavoidable emissions will be offset in partnership with sustainability-focused nonprofit Forterra, which conserves nature and secures wilderness in the Pacific north-west of the United States.

The Sounders will specifically invest in the organisation’s Evergreen Carbon Capture programme. After the club’s carbon footprint is calculated, Forterra will help plant the number of trees needed to balance out that negative impact. Forterra plants one tree for every five tonnes of carbon to be sequestered.

A breakdown of Seattle Sounders’ carbon footprint

A plot, chosen by the Sounders for the project, is located at Point Discovery on Hamm Creek in Burien. Trees planted on that site will also create shade for wildlife and moderate rising water temperatures in the creek, which is populated by a large number of salmon fish.

When calculating its carbon footprint, the Sounders will include all activity related to its Pioneer Square business office (including energy, waste, paper, shipping, recycling and employee commuting), training facility operations, air travel for the first team, business travel for scouting, fan travel emissions, and energy use and waste related to the team’s CenturyLink Field home stadium.

“The Sounders have always been committed to investing in our community, and that includes recognising the immense responsibility we have as environmental stewards,” said the team owner, Adrian Hanauer.

“Sustainability is the key pillar of our club and this new step is a logical extension of the efforts we already have in place.”

Last July, English football club Forest Green Rovers became the first professional football team to be certified by the UNFCCC as ‘carbon neutral’.

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