Rose Garden Goes Green

The arena became the first major U.S. sports venue to achieve LEED Gold status

Rose Garden Arena // (c) 2010

Contributing editor Marty Wentzel visits
the Friday Harbor House

The Rose Garden, a major sports and entertainment venue and the home of the Portland Trail Blazers, has become a pioneer in the greening of professional sports. In January, it became the first major U.S. sports venue to achieve LEED Gold status, a milestone in the effort to make professional sports more sustainable. This certification, awarded by the United States Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, rewards best practices for buildings’ energy, water and natural resource performance.

The Trail Blazers’ efforts to reduce their facility’s environmental impacts include:

  • Recycling: More than 60 percent of waste is diverted from local landfills via strategies such as post-game sorting. Extensive recycling stations for visitors and a food-waste composting program help divert more than 800 tons of waste annually.
  • Transportation: Located in Portland’s urban core, the Rose Quarter provides strong transportation choices for visitors, with more than 30 percent of attendees choosing public or alternative transportation, such as bikes.
  • Energy, gas and water: In addition to installing energy-efficient lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures, the Rose Garden purchases 100 percent renewable energy.
  • Purchasing: The Rose Garden has worked with suppliers to increase sustainable options and now uses more than 95 percent compostable food and beverage serving containers and 100 percent recycled content trash liners, and has replaced disposables with re-usable commodities.
  • Health: The facility uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and, in keeping with Portland’s dedication to slow food, offers locally made food and beverage options.

“The Portland Trail Blazers have demonstrated once again that they are leaders with their continued commitment to sustainable resources and renewable energy,” said Kathy Behrens, National Basketball Association executive vice president. “This designation is another important step for the NBA to demonstrate how we can all play a role in lessening the environmental impact of our operations, arenas and events.”

The Trail Blazers, in conjunction with NBA Green Week, are hosting their annual Green Awareness Game against the Dallas Mavericks on April 9.