Monthly Archives: June 2017

Stand Together Week with Portland Timbers, Portland Thorns FC & T2

June 5, 2017; Cornelius, OR, USA; Sebastian Blanco, Britt Eckerstrom, Christian Herrera, Andre Lewis and Terrell Lowe help with painting pots and making recycling bins out of cardboard boxes at the Cornelius Wellness Center in Cornelius, OR during Stand Together Week. Photo: Sam Ortega-Portland Timbers

June 5, 2017; Cornelius, OR, USA; Sebastian Blanco, Britt Eckerstrom, Christian Herrera, Andre Lewis and Terrell Lowe help with painting pots and making recycling bins out of cardboard boxes at the Cornelius Wellness Center in Cornelius, OR during Stand Together Week. Photo: Sam Ortega-Portland Timbers

For the sixth year in a row, the Portland Timbers, Portland Thorns FC and T2 have partnered up with Hands On Greater Portland, the City of Portland and numerous nonprofit organizations for the organization’s annual Stand Together Week. Since 2012, Stand Together Week has united players, staff, sponsors and supporters in a week-long community initiative to improve local neighborhoods and give back to Soccer City.

Stand Together Week was held June 4 -10 and featured the completion of thirty service projects, thanks to the work of over a thousand dedicated volunteers. Each of the projects made a meaningful impact within the focus areas of Stand Together: youth activity, youth education and environmental awareness.

Projects ranged from environmentally focused work, such as sprucing up community gardens, removing non-native invasive plants, and hosting beach cleanups, to youth focused work, like restoring books and hosting youth soccer clinics. Additionally, as in times past, supporters were given the opportunity to work alongside some of their favorite athletes and coaches, collaborating to improve their collective communities.

Since 2012, Stand Together Week Participants have donated 12,631 hours of service at more than 163 events benefitting youth and the environment in the greater-Portland area. In that time, volunteers have served nonprofits, such as Playworks, Zenger Farm, Boys & Girls Club, Active Children Portland, Children’s Book Bank and the 4 Worlds United Soccer Alliance amongst many others.

The Timbers, Thorns and T2 have collectively continued to emphasize philanthropy as core tenant of their organization, inviting Portlanders to engage in service that benefits local youth and the environment, while leading by example in their community.

June 5, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Jack Barmby, Jack Jewsbury, Wade Hamilton, Shaquille Jimenez, Omar Mohamed, Andrew Gregor and Merritt Paulson help clean up Mary S. Young State Park in West Linn during Stand Together Week. Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers

June 5, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Jack Barmby, Jack Jewsbury, Wade Hamilton, Shaquille Jimenez, Omar Mohamed, Andrew Gregor and Merritt Paulson help clean up Mary S. Young State Park in West Linn during Stand Together Week. Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers

Guest Blog: Sustainability in Bite Size Pieces, Creates Big Results | Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Program

2017 Environmental Innovator of the Year: Sailors for the Sea

Guest Blog by Sailors for the Sea


Sailing is a life-long sport that allows participants to get involved and achieve success at just about any age. As one learns to sail, they create a true connection to nature, and often the elements of nature – wind and waves – are harder on sailors than their fellow competitors. Nature demands a certain amount of respect from sailors, but for years sailing events have felt that by utilizing the wind for movement, they were being environmentally conscious sport. But when you look at the details of how the sport operates, you begin to see many ways sailors can change their behavior and give back to the waters that bring them so much joy.

10 years ago, Sailors for the Sea started the Clean Regattas program – the only sustainability certification for water-based events. It is a hybrid model of sustainability based on the ISO 20121 standard for Event Sustainability Management; the ISO 14000 standard for Environmental Management; and the Global Reporting Index (GRI) Event Organizers Sustainability Guidelines.

But to make those big words accessible for overburdened volunteers who often run sailing events, we simplified the concepts into Best Practices and provided checklists to allow regatta organizers to achieve Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels. Over time, the program has evolved and become more streamlined, and today it has 25 Best Practices with specific guidelines, such as a minimum of 7 to meet Bronze level, and a requirement of composting and public engagement at the Gold level.

The Clean Regattas program instills the concept to “Play Greener” throughout the sailing community. The introduction of the program to an event often starts with just one individual. As planning begins, the influence expands as a green team is formed. The green team, which can range in size from 2 to 250 people, is trained in the sustainability efforts – often helping sort trash, recycling, and composting; helping refill water bottles; or creating emergency plans for oil spills. Every athlete at the event is engaged in the sustainability initiatives, as they are embedded in the event planning and management. Spectators or fans also partake in the Clean Regattas program when watching from a boat or onshore.

We’ve worked with events from all over the world, from the smallest children’s regatta to the largest sailing events in the world, such as the 34th America’s Cup or the Volvo Ocean Race, with more than 100,000 fans in attendance. This is possible because the program is made to be scalable and practical. Over the course of 10 years, more than 1,100
events have participated in the program with more than 400,000 people partaking in sustainability efforts. 2016 marked the 10-year anniversary of the program, and was the largest year yet with 216
events and 42,256 people in 32 US States and 31 countries and territories.

But more than numbers, we are proud of the way the program impacts communities and changes dialogue around environmental issues. The feedback on the program is overwhelming positive. But don’t just take our word for it! Recent quotes from program users include:

“The discussion generated by the event promises to have a lasting beneficial impact on our clubs attitude toward waste management. We were about to demonstrate the workability of sustainable practices and debunk any justifications for the continued reliance on single use disposables. Participants who brought their own durable goods were make to feel proud for having done so… We also raised enough money to sponsor recyclables pick up service for a year.”

– George Michels, Vice Commodore, North Flathead Yacht Club, Somers, MT

“There were so many ‘best parts’ about being a Clean Regatta! We partnered with community organizations and businesses that would not normally be involved with the regatta or sailing in general. The entire process is straightforward and transparent. We are already talking about how to improve on next year’s event and will be thrilled to be a certified clean regatta.”

– Marcia Ward, Green Team Organizer, Little Traverse Yacht Club, Harbor Springs, MI

“Clean Regatta has given the [Royal Honk Kong Yacht Club] a structure and a checklist to ensure that whilst we are sailing we are also protecting our oceans.  Enrollment in the Clean Regattas [program] was the catalyst for the club to become plastic water bottle and plastic bag free on Ocean Day earlier this year.”

– Marcy Trent Long, Sailing Manager, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Hong Kong

Guest Blog: Embracing Innovation, Golden 1 Center Raises the Bar for Sports Sustainability

2017 Environmental Innovator of the Year: Sacramento Kings

Guest Blog by Chris Granger, President, Sacramento Kings


Sacramento is the proud home to many of the world’s leading climate change policy ideas and prescriptions to preserve our planet’s resources. Throughout the region, our friends and neighbors embrace an outdoor lifestyle, connected to nature and conscious of the food we eat, the environment we live in, and the resources we use every day.

So when we began crafting Golden 1 Center – three blocks away from California’s Capitol – it was incredibly important that we reflect the values of our community, while demonstrating that environmental awareness can go hand in hand with comfort, world-class entertainment, and can serve as a cornerstone for our city to build upon.

It is why we’re committed to making basketball the greenest sport, and help set a new standard of sustainability at Golden 1 Center.  Our team can demonstrate that everyone – fans, neighbors, and observers – all can have an impact on the environment.

Beginning with our planning, implementing green innovations were a pillar of the arena’s design. With over 300 days of sunshine, we knew that solar power was a must, but with our ambitious team driving the project, having PV on the roof wasn’t enough. Through an urban-smart grid, we’re able to proudly say that Golden 1 Center is the only 100% solar powered arena in the world – eliminating 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions generated by traditional energy sources.

The architecture of the Grand Entrance is iconic and functional. The five massive hangar doors bi-fold and allow us to utilize a regional, natural cooling phenomenon – The Delta Breeze – to circulate fresh air through the arena and save on energy use. When the Delta Breeze isn’t flowing, we can turn on the one-of-a-kind displacement ventilation system that adjusts the climate at the fans’ level – under their seats – with low-volume, passive air that is more comfortable and efficient than typical forced, chilled air from above. Both innovations allow us to consciously use resources without sacrificing fan comfort.

But the most comfortable thing in every arena is food, and we’ve made a groundbreaking commitment to ensure we’re operating smartly and sustainably. Sacramento sits in the most bountiful agricultural region in the world. We’re able to source the highest-quality produce and ingredients from our own backyard. To represent the values of our community, we’ve pledged to source 90% of our food and beverage program within 150 miles of the arena – increasing quality and freshness, while reducing vehicle miles travels and carbon emissions. Part of that pledge includes a 10-point charter that extends our commitment to identify responsible sources, extend our educational reach into our culinary program, support local businesses, and take steps to mitigate hunger in our region.

When we looked at the elements of sustainability, it was important that we close the loop. Sacramento has plenty of sunshine to create a net-zero venue, but with the state in a record-breaking drought, we looked to solutions that would help conserve and reuse water efficiently.  Ultra low-flow plumbing fixtures in our restrooms and water aggregation systems that help irrigate our drought resistant plant life in our plaza reflect our concern for scarce resources.

We also wanted to close the loop and reduce the landfill footprint for the arena. That started with construction when we recycled 99% of the arena’s demolition materials – over 100,000 tons! And now, we’re working to close the food cycle as well. Any unserved food from events is properly packaged, chilled, and distributed to local food banks. Organic kitchen waste is sent to be treated, turned into a nutrient rich fertilizer and sent back to the farms and producers that source our incredible ingredients.

Over 2 million guests will visit Golden 1 Center each year, and we want them to walk away entertained and informed. Here they’ll learn that everyone can have an impact on the environment – from the conscious choices they make about their food to how they power their homes and to be aware of the resources in their neighborhood. A core value of our mission is to enhance the lives of those we engage with – guests, fans, neighbors, and our colleagues across sports and beyond.

We’re proud that we can represent our community by building the world’s first and only LEED Platinum Indoor arena. But we’re excited to be a part of a sports community that will continue to push the envelope on environmental awareness, creating greener buildings, dedicating resources to educating fans, and continuing to challenge each other to keep innovating.

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