US, Canadian teams unite to aid environment

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The Independent Online

Sports teams from six major North American leagues announced Monday the formation of the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit group aimed at reducing their environmental impact.

The NBA Portland Trail Blazers, NFL Seattle Seahawks, NHL Vancouver Canucks, baseball's Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer and Seattle Storm of the Women's NBA and their home venues are part of the project.

Commissioners from each sport league and the US Environmental Agenct back the plan, which will lead an effort to reduce waste and boost recycling and conservation projects, ideas that could be used by all US and Canadian teams.

The idea of a cross-league alliance began in 2009 with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who owns the Seahawks and Trail Blazers and co-owns the Sounders.

Teams are being asked to reduce energy and carbon emissions, conserve water and boost recycling as well as promote renewable energy and such reduced-impact transit options as bicycling.

"The sports industry represents a vast opportunity to make meaningful strides towards environmental responsibility and sustainability," said Martin Tull, executive director of the alliance.

"We look forward to expanding the Alliance to include teams and venues across North America so that we can help each other reduce our environmental footprint and create positive change in our communities."

The group plans a Green Sports Summit in August at Portland.