Professional sports teams from the US Northwest joined with their affiliated venues to launch the Green Sports Alliance (GSA) on Monday.
It is the first time that teams from Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Major League Soccer (MLS) have collaborated on a common agenda to reduce their impact on the environment.
The Green Sports Alliance was conceived of and initiated by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and representatives of Paul G. Allen’s sports teams in the fall of 2009. Mr. Allen, a founder of Microsoft, owns the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers and is co-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC.
The teams will work with the NRDC, the U.S. EPA, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Portland State University to identify and adopt environmental initiatives to measure and reduce their impact on the environment.
Founding members of the GSA include MLB’s Seattle Mariners, NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, WNBA’s Seattle Storm and MLS’ Seattle Sounders FC.
Members of the GSA representing sporting facilities include Safeco Field (Seattle), Qwest Field and Qwest Field Event Center (Seattle), KeyArena at Seattle Center (Seattle), the Rose Garden (Portland) and Rogers Arena (Vancouver).
The GSA encourages all teams and venues to measure their environmental impacts and seek ways to reduce them. Specifically, organizations are urged to initiate strategies that reduce energy and carbon emissions, conserve water, increase recycling, and promote renewable energy and alternative transportation policies.
Teams and venues are also encouraged to promote their greening initiatives throughout their respective leagues and surrounding communities. Alliance members will submit quarterly reports sharing results on their greening initiatives. The GSA will aggregate results across teams and report annually on collective progress.
In September 2009, the major professional sports leagues in the US delivered a letter encouraging their teams and facilities to begin using solar power. The leagues also distributed a comprehensive solar development guide produced on their behalf by NRDC.