Hello, March! 

It’s hard to believe we’re three months into 2016. Being that we’re in the heart of basketball season, it seems only natural to talk about one of our favorite teams in the NBA: The Portland Trail Blazers.   

Not only are they shaking up the race to the playoffs with a hot winning streak, but the Trail Blazers are really living up to their name when it comes to sustainability. They are, no doubt, a leading team in the NBA with their efforts to raise awareness about environmental issues and actively do their part to reduce their impact on the planet. 

In December, the team launched ‘Live’, a program to help protect the planet and their community. As part of the program, the team is focusing on educating and creating change in five areas: Waste, water, transportation, energy, and food, particularly in relation to the Moda Center, where the team plays. 

“As an organization, we are dedicated to impacting kids and families in our region where they live, learn and play. ‘Live’ is our long-term commitment to the environment.”

-Christa Stout, VP of Social Responsibility, Portland Trail Blazers 

In an effort to increase awareness, promote their 2025 sustainability goals, and start conversations with fans, the Trail Blazers are hosting 5 Green Games to highlight each area of focus. You can catch the next Green Game - focused on water - on March 8 against the Washington Wizards. Their 2025 goal for water? Reduce Mona Center's water usage by an additional 10% and offset all of the water used at the arena.

Beyond the Live program, here are five other reasons why the Portland Trail Blazers are one of the most sustainable teams in sports: 

1. They were a founding team of the Green Sports Alliance 

The Green Sports Alliance is near and dear to our hearts, and it’s no surprise that the Trail Blazers were one of the founding teams of the organization. Since its inception, the Green Sports Alliance has garnered support from 158 teams, 172 venues, and 14 leagues across major sports platforms.


2. Moda Center was awarded the first LEED Gold certification for a sports venue 

Moda CenterModa Center

Once again living up to their name, the arena where the Trail Blazers play - the Moda Center - received the first LEED Gold certification for a major league sports facility.

“Oregon is one of the most beautiful, livable places on the planet, and commitment to being good environmental stewards is part of what defines our region. This is a team effort, involving all of us working together." 

-Larry Miller, President, Trail Blazers

3. They have a 79% diversion rate and a goal to be zero waste by 2025

The Trail Blazers actually created the GreenDrop Recycling compost stations, which you can find throughout Moda Center and at venues across the country. They also go through a strict vetting process for all partners, including their cleaning staff. And in 2014, they diverted over 1.7 million pounds of waste from landfills!


4. Their “3’s for Trees” program plants 3 trees for every 3-pointer made 

Sandy River DeltaSandy River Delta

For every 3-pointer made during the 2015-2016 season, the Trail Blazers have committed to planting 3 trees through the 3’s for Trees program. By partnering with Daimler Trucks North America and Friends of Trees, the Trail Blazers are on track to plant over 1,800 trees this year (that’s over 600 3-pointers’ worth) in the Sandy River Delta.


5. They offset all of the water used at Moda Center 

Through a partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and the Change the Course program, the Trail Blazers offset all of the water used at all events at Moda Center. In 2014 alone, the team saved over 3.5 million gallons of water.

The BEF is near and dear to our hearts here at Relan, as we’re also working with them to offset our water usage and carbon footprint. If you’re looking to offset the water and carbon usage for your business, check out all of the options available on their website

Your turn: 

What is your team doing to reduce its environmental impact? Let us know in the comments below! 

Images: 1) Flickr/Sam Beebe 2) Flickr/Tony Webster 3) Flickr/Jonathan Mueller