The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has joined forces with the Green Sports Alliance (GSA), a nonprofit that aims to reduce sports’ environmental impact, to promote green building initiatives in professional and collegiate sports.
USGBC says it will support the GSA to accelerate the green sports movement by exploring LEED certification of sports stadiums, ballparks and arenas across the country. Currently, 25 professional sports venues are LEED-certified, including Nationals Park, American Airlines Arena and Soldier Field.
More than 180 professional and collegiate sports teams and venues are members of the GSA. MLB’s Seattle Mariners, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and MLS’s Seattle Sounders FC founded the Green Sports Alliance in March 2011. Members work with the EPA, Natural Resources Defense Council and other organizations to identify and adopt environmental initiatives, and share information about ways to measure and reduce their environmental impact.
USGBC and the GSA earlier this year developed a toolkit focused on advancing green schools through sports, which encourages sports organizations to engage their communities in environmental stewardship through local projects. The GSA highlights USGBC initiatives at professional and collegiate sports venues through member resources including webinars, toolkits, best practice sharing and social media events.
USGBC first collaborated with the GSA last August when the Seattle Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders and Storm collaborated on a school garden project for USGBC’s Green Apple Day of Service inaugural Green Apple Day of Service.
Earlier this year, the San Francisco 49ers partnered with the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and NRG Energy to help the football team’s new facility, Levi’s Stadium (pictured), become the first professional football stadium to open with LEED certification — and the first zero-energy sports venue in California, Energy Manager Today reports. The stadium incorporates photovoltaic panels, a green roof, public transit access, bicycle parking, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, recycled materials and other sustainable design concepts.
Image Credit: Levi’s Stadium