MLS celebrates Earth Day with reforestation projects

NEW YORK, NY – In celebration of Earth Day and the recent opening of the 2021 season, Major League Soccer, through MLS WORKS, the League’s social responsibility platform, will invest in reforestation projects to help store carbon that would otherwise harm the planet. The carbon stored in trees will help balance out the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the League and club travel from the 2020 season, including airfare, accommodations, and ground transportation. 

As part of MLS WORKS’ Greener Goals initiative, which identifies ways to reduce the League’s greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint and raises awareness about environmental issues throughout the soccer community, MLS will continue to address its environmental impact by contributing to activities that help reduce the League’s carbon footprint. This will be done by investing in projects that mitigate the release of harmful CO2 emissions and create tangible, constructive impacts in both domestic and international communities. Over the last three years, in partnership with South Pole, MLS has offset more than 26,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to 39,000 flights from San Jose to Montreal. Follow @MLSWORKS on Twitter and Instagram to view a new video illustrating the League’s commitment to addressing and reducing its carbon footprint.

By joining forces with the global reforestation organization One Tree Planted, MLS and its clubs will plant 27,000 trees – 1,000 trees for each MLS community where we live and play our games – in national forests across the United States and Canada. This will mark the reforestation of up to 67 acres of land – the equivalent of 38 soccer fields filled with trees, and will provide environmental benefits including cleaner air, water, stabilized soils, and improved biodiversity, while also helping to compensate for a portion of the League’s carbon footprint over time. 

MLS will also buy carbon credits in partnership with South Pole to support the Envira project in Brazil’s Amazon basin which protects 39,300 hectares of tropical forests from logging and encroaching cattle ranches. By preserving the area’s rich biodiversity, it mitigates the release of more than 1,250,000 tons of CO2 emissions on average each year. The project fosters economic opportunities for local communities through sustainable farming and the sale of acai berries and medicinal plants, promoting environmental stewardship, and providing health services and educational courses.

The combined impact of these projects (over a 20-year period) is the equivalent to the annual energy usage and transportation of 880 people or all first team players from each of the 27 MLS Clubs.

The League continues to explore efforts to reduce emissions at MLS stadiums including opportunities to engage fans and provide resources for clubs to create circular economies. As part of this commitment MLS will partner with Green Sports Alliance to support their Playing for the Next Generation campaign (“PLAY”), which will help guide MLS teams and venues to benchmark environmental performances where we play our matches.

The greening of our game will encourage MLS clubs, players, partners, and fans to create a cleaner, healthier environment. For more information on Greener Goals, including sustainability tips, MLS club efforts around Earth Day and the League’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, visit MLSsoccer.com/MLSWORKS or follow @MLSWORKS on social platforms.