MLS WORKS announced Monday its sixth annual Greener Goals Week of Service which highlights the League’s commitment to environmental sustainability, including efforts around waste reduction.
Week of Service
The sixth annual Greener Goals Week of Service will take place April 17-23. League-wide efforts will be conducted on and off the field to highlight Major League Soccer’s commitment to environmental sustainability, including efforts around waste reduction.
All 29 MLS clubs and League office staff will volunteer their time to conduct environmentally friendly projects in partnership with local charitable organizations. Follow @MLSWORKS on social platforms or click here to see what clubs are doing as part of Week of Service to positively impact their local communities.
One Planet jerseys
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 for games April 22-23 (Matchday 9). The jerseys are made with Parley recycled ocean plastic and will be available at MLSstore.com and select club retail locations starting April 18th at 11 am ET.
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.
Reducing stadium waste
Throughout the season, MLS clubs are also partnering with local food organizations to distribute unused food following matches at their stadiums. With the intention of reducing waste and helping address food insecurity in their region, MLS venues will collectively divert more than 55 tons of food to local food donation programs while avoiding approximately 208 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to approximately 330 cross-continent air flights from San Jose to Montréal.
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 regular MLS season, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and MLS Cup presented by Audi.
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.
MLSsoccer.com will have coverage of how clubs are participating all week long.
Greener Goals Week of Service 2023 - Club Initiatives
Atlanta United’s Greener Goals platform, presented by Southwire, is highlighted by a number of partnerships with local community groups throughout the city. Inspired by the club’s Forest Kit, Atlanta United and Trees Atlanta are in the second year of their partnership to protect and improve Atlanta's urban forest through monthly tree planting and invasive plant species removal, which will culminate in 1,000 trees being planted across the city. Additionally, joining forces with Out Teach, a local community group that provides professional development for elementary school teachers through integrated instructional plans for outdoor experiential learning in garden spaces in the brand-new Atlanta United Outdoor Learning Lab, presented by Royal Foods. This partnership will produce a nutritional station and outdoor classroom being built in a local Atlanta Public School. Finally, the club will continue its annual tradition of auctioning match-worn One Planet kits which will benefit the Georgia Aquarium’s conservation efforts.
Austin FC’s year-long sustainability efforts will take center stage in April through its Greener Goals programming with a series of initiatives including park beautification and clean-up events, as well as a sustainability panel at Q2 Stadium. To kick off the April events, Austin FC front office staff will volunteer to help beautify an area of the city’s beloved Boggy Creek Greenbelt in partnership with Austin Parks Foundation. On April 21, staff and friends will come together for a city-wide litter clean-up on Lady Bird Lake in partnership with the Club’s sustainability partner YETI. April Greener Goals efforts culminate on April 28 with an informative panel on the importance of recycling, composting and waste disposal in partnership with Club’s official Waste and Recycling Partner, Texas Disposal Systems.
Charlotte FC is committed to reducing food waste in the community by continuing its partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. The club is also proud to wear the adidas One Planet jerseys which are made in part with recycled materials during Earth Week matches.
Chicago Fire will proudly wear the adidas One Planet jerseys made in part with recycled materials during the Earth Week match on Sunday, April 23.
The club has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (RMA) to create eco-friendly housing and revitalize surrounding greens. Club staff will work with RMA to plant, water and grow native grass seeds throughout the refuge on top of working with Habitat for Humanity to build an accessory dwelling unit for those in need. The efforts build up to the Rapids’ ‘Sustainability Night’ on Saturday, April 22, as the club hosts St. Louis CITY SC in their inaugural season.
The week leading into Earth Day and Columbus’ match at Charlotte, the Crew will welcome volunteers to Scottwood Elementary School in alignment with MLS’ Greener Goals initiative. During the event, the Crew, Columbus City Schools – a partner district of the “Stay in the Game!” Network, focused on promoting school attendance – Rumpke and Scotts are coordinating a clap-in to build excitement as students return from Spring Break, followed by a beautification project that will clean and refresh the school’s outdoor spaces. Additionally, Crew staff members and volunteers will fill the sidewalks with inspirational messages that encourage strong attendance, classroom engagement and appreciation for the environment and City of Columbus.
United We Serve is D.C. United's signature side-by-side volunteer program that brings players, fans, and staff together to serve our community. On April 19th, D.C. United will partner with City Blossoms to help with mulching, weeding, painting, and garden maintenance at the Kelly Miller Youth Garden in preparation for their spring season programming. City Blossoms is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing young people with safe green space in our community.
FC Cincinnati have partnered with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and Living Lands & Waters for a clean-up of the Ohio River, as a part of a tie-in with the club’s 2023 primary kit, which pays tribute to the city’s beloved river. More than 60 volunteers boarded watercrafts or walked along the land to remove litter from the riverbank, including Zoo Staff, FC Cincinnati Staff, and FC Cincinnati players. All people and wildlife who live, work and play in the Ohio River Valley are connected to the river in some way. FC Cincinnati wants to help keep the Ohio River healthy and clean for everyone.
FC Dallas is teaming up with Keep Lewisville Beautiful as part of MLS WORKS' sixth annual Greener Goals Week of Service. Keep Lewisville Beautiful partners with the community to promote environmental quality, making Lewisville the best place to live, work and play. FC Dallas staff will volunteer their time cleaning up a local park as part of this initiative.
Players from the Houston Dynamo FC came together on Thursday, April 13, to volunteer at Hope Farms with Recipe for Success foundation, an organization that leads the way in combatting childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate, and eat their food by helping the community provide healthier diets for kids. The team will assist with various activities around the community garden, including beautification projects, trash removal and packaging seeds for farming. Dynamo and Dash Charities will auction off the One Earth Jerseys worn by players during the match on April 22nd with proceeds benefiting Buffalo Bayou Partnership and their effort to help keep the Houston Bayou free of debris and waste. The club will also continue its partnership with Shell Energy and One Tree Planted to donate 350 trees for each Dynamo win throughout the season.
LAFC will partner with Heal the Bay to host a beach clean-up at Venice Beach. This event will serve as a continuation of the Club’s efforts to raise awareness for environmental issues and help create sustainable communities in Los Angeles and beyond.
The LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy Foundation will partner up with Garden School Foundation to refurbish the student garden at Annalee Elementary School. Fans, supporters, first-team players and front-office staff will volunteer to help with weeding, mulching, assembling garden beds and planting. Wrapping up the week, they will host FUTBL.org, SA Recycling and Garden School Foundation to activate on matchday and engage with fans about sustainability.
Inter Miami is focused on continuing to harness the power of fútbol to do good. With a focus on sustainability, earlier this year, Inter Miami CF worked with new brand, (re)boot, to tackle the waste crisis by keeping worn sports gear in play. (re)boot uses player-worn and official team gear and equipment to create a net-positive influence on the sports community. On Tuesday, the Club will launch the 2023 adidas One Planet jersey with an eye-catching campaign to continue to raise awareness of plastic pollution. The Club will also team up with the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science; more details on this collaboration will be announced on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Inter Miami CF will announce their plans for the Club’s third annual Equipment Drive and sorting opportunities, this year’s edition in partnership with Florida Blue during the month of May.
In conjunction with the Do Good Stuff Foundation and our friends at 3M, Minnesota United will be hosting the first of two biannual clean-ups in St. Paul. Since moving to the Midway neighborhood, Minnesota United has remained consistent in our efforts to start and end the seasons with neighborhood clean-ups.
During the month of June, CF Montreal, in collaboration with One Tree Planted, will bring volunteer employees to a tree planting activity in Montreal. The employees of the club will take part in a quick seminar on how to properly plant trees, and the impact reforestation has on the planet. One Tree Planted will also host a series of activities before one of our May games at Stade Saputo.
Nashville SC will host its annual Greener Goals Night on Earth Day, April 22 at GEODIS Park. As part of the celebration, the club will honor youth recipients of the Nashville SC Greener Goals award, which provides grant funds for youth-led climate change projects, as Heroes of the Match. Additionally, Nashville SC will highlight representatives of Water Warriors, an organization that brings together youth, professional artists, and environmental agencies to create art representing water conservation out of plastics. Nashville SC will also recognize the Cumberland River Compact and students from the Mayor’s Youth Climate Summit as they carry the Nashville SC GEODIS Community Flag onto the pitch at GEODIS Park prior to hosting MLS Cup Champions LAFC in front of over 30,000 fans.
New England Revolution players and staff will recognize their commitment to “One Planet” by partnering with Save the Bay for a beach clean-up in Warwick, RI on Thursday, April 20. Following their home match on April 22, the Revolution will auction off game-worn One Planet jerseys to benefit Save the Bay's habitat restoration and adaptation efforts.
In an effort to promote our foundation's mission of youth empowerment through soccer, creating better lives and strengthened communities, NYCFC is partnering with NYC Parks for a day of service.
The New York Red Bulls and Audi have teamed up with Jersey Cares for a park beautification and cleanup project. Volunteers will maintenance and plant throughout Riverview Fisk Park in Jersey City. Our aligned goals and consideration for the environment make it a partnership truly based on our mutual support of the community.
Orlando City SC installed an onsite recycling system, with the venue continuing to maximize the number of recycled products through the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Exploria Stadium. The Club has diverted 5.08 tons of cardboard, .60 tons of aluminum, 1.67 tons of plastic, and 1.37 tons of food waste since January. Additionally, the Club’s food and beverage partners at Oak View Group (OVG) and Exploria Stadium, recently received the prestigious Recycling Champion Award from the Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation. In addition to their recycling efforts in 2022, OVG diverted 3,200 lbs. of prepared food to local feeding organizations. Orlando City Foundation has funded the installation of 24 local community gardens to reduce the impact of food deserts in low-income areas and allow residents greater access to nutritious food that is necessary to live a healthy life.
The Union continue their Growing Goals initiative in partnership with Subaru, in which they will donate 25 trees for every Union goal scored during the season. The initiative will once again kick off with an initial 25 mature trees being planted at Eyre Park in Chester, Pa. Additionally, the Union will host local students for a tour of Subaru’s “Garden for Good” at Subaru Park, where they will learn about sustainable benefits of the garden in collaboration with Hoffman’s Exterminating. The Union will also engage their front office staff and fans in a community clean-up with Recycle Track Systems (RTS) and Living Lands and Waters. On April 22nd the Union will celebrate their sustainability match with a Subaru bucket hat giveaway made of recycled materials as well as other game day activations.
PTFC will be collaborating with the Zero Waste Collaborative for Food Prevention Week. This includes bringing awareness to the topic as well we education about how we can help combat the issue. We will also be partnering with SOLVE for a "Spring Clean Up" to clean up trash from the streets of Portland.
This season Real Salt Lake will be joining our partners Alta Bank to launch “Saves for the Great Salt Lake”. This season every save Real Salt Lake makes, our players, fans and partners have pledged to make a donation towards Saving Our Great Salt Lake. The stakes are high for both people and nature. Without intervention, the Lake ecosystem will collapse, threatening the air quality and water supplies of Utah residents, weakening mountain snowpack and damaging local and global industries. All Utahns need to care about this issue because it’s really the health of Utah—our economy, our air, our water supplies, our wildlife—that’s at stake. Protecting the Great Salt Lake protects Utah.
The San Jose Earthquakes are partnering with Our City Forest to host a tree planting event for Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Members of the Quakes Front Office and Coca-Cola will be present to help plant over 26 trees at Rucker Elementary School in Gilroy, Calif. For more information on the Quakes Foundation, the charitable arm of the club, visit www.sjearthquakes.com/community.
Sounders FC is committed to protecting our planet. The club builds partnerships to invest in programs that educate youth most affected by environmental injustice and empower them to improve environmental and community health outcomes. Sounders FC’s partners at EarthGen, along with the Rave Green, are revisiting past projects at local elementary and middle schools to continue stewardship and upkeep of previously established long-term investments. These investments of community-informed playscapes and green spaces contribute to cleaner air and lead to healthier communities.
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.
MLS WORKS and St. Louis CITY SC donated funds to pay for over 46,000 meals for people at risk for hunger to Operation Food Search as part of a food kit packing event with St. Louis CITY SC. The donation honors STL CITY and Operation Food Search’s partnership to address food insecurity and reduce food waste in the St. Louis region. During the event in March, St. Louis CITY players packed over 1,600 meals in backpacks for children to take home to their families over the weekend. St. Louis CITY SC will celebrate its Sustainability themed match on April 29 by highlighting its zero-waste stadium features, launching a green team program to help fans reduce waste in-game, and encouraging fans to sign the Our CITY sustainability pledge to practice waste reduction in the stadium and in their communities.
TFC Community has partnered with Second Harvest to highlight food rescue initiatives that support zero waste at BMO Field. This awareness night will showcase how food rescue is both a social justice and an environmental concern. It also encourages fans to participate in food rescue at the game and beyond. The TFC Community will also partner with Toronto Conservation to help clean parks around Toronto while learning more about nature. Both these initiatives are meant to encourage fans and the wider community to live a greener friendly lifestyle, as we all have a role to play in protecting and preserving our environment.
Vancouver will raise awareness surrounding sustainability and highlight how the Whitecaps soccer community is addressing environmental impact throughout Greener Goals Week of Service.