MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform, today kicked off its sixth annual Greener Goals Week of Service which highlights the League’s commitment to environmental sustainability, including efforts around waste reduction. Earth Day matches on April 22-23 will raise awareness surrounding sustainability and highlight how the MLS community is addressing environmental impact.
Sporting Kansas City will host the team’s fourth annual Sporting Sustainability match at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, April 29 as the club highlights efforts to reduce food waste and raise awareness around the importance of recycling and composting. Sporting’s philanthropic foundation The Victory Project is teaming up with global sustainable packaging provider Huhtamaki to encourage fans to donate gently used soccer equipment for this year’s Recycle Your Game initiative, which will culminate with a free soccer clinic for local youth to receive the donated equipment. In addition, Sporting has also partnered with City Mission Union to donate an estimated 2,500 pounds of food this year to further serve the local community.
As part of Greener Goals Week of Service, MLS and its clubs will join forces with adidas to promote ocean plastic waste recovery. In partnership with nonprofit Parley for the Oceans, MLS and adidas are developing an immersive educational experience dedicated to the understanding of marine environments and the co-creation of plastic waste solutions called the Parley Ocean School.
To underscore the League’s commitment to raising awareness about ocean plastic waste and eliminating CO2-emitting plastics production, MLS players will be sporting adidas One Planet jerseys during Earth Day weekend. The jerseys are entirely out of recycled materials, including recovered plastic, and will be available for Sporting Kansas City fans to purchase at the club's Sporting Sustainability match on April 29 or online at MLSstore.com.
MLS continues to explore opportunities to reduce non-renewable energy use, as well as measure and help to offset a portion of emissions associated with League and club travel including airfare, accommodations and ground transportation for the MLS regular season, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and Audi MLS Cup.
Throughout the season, MLS clubs are also partnering with local food organizations to distribute unused food following matches at their stadiums. Intending to reduce food waste and help address food insecurity in their region, MLS venues will collectively divert more than 55 tons of food to local food donation programs, avoiding approximately 208 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to approximately 330 cross continent air flights from San Jose to Montreal.
Throughout Greener Goals Week of Service, all 29 MLS clubs and the League office will volunteer their time by conducting environmentally friendly projects in partnership with local charitable organizations to positively impact local communities. Sporting Kansas City associates will volunteer with Kansas City Community Gardens as part of a community effort to plant trees outside the Ryogoku Soccer Academy in Swope Park.
Greener Goals Week of Service will encourage MLS clubs, players, partners, and fans to give back to their communities and raise awareness for environmental responsibility. For more information on Greener Goals, including sustainability tips, MLS club efforts around Earth Day and the League’s efforts to help address its environmental impact, visit MLSsoccer.com/MLSWORKS or follow @MLSWORKS on social platforms.