Another Houston sports team commits to fighting climate change
The Houston Texans rocked the football world in early May with their historic back-to-back first-round all-star offense/defense NFL draft picks, but that’s not the only groundbreaking news they had planned this month. In partnership with 1PointFive, the Texans’ Preferred Carbon Removal Partner, the team announced the Touchdown for Trees program to recapture carbon emissions – and the hearts of fans.
“As part of our partnership with 1PointFive, we kicked off our Touchdown for Trees initiative last week at Hermann Park Conservancy,” Houston Texans Senior Vice President of Partnerships Jerry Angel tells EnergyCapitalHTX. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work together to make a difference across our community during the 2023 Season.”
For every touchdown scored by the Texans in the 2022, 2023, and 2024 seasons, the team pledges to plant 1.5 trees in the greater Houston area. To kick off the initiative, Houston Texans staff and cheerleaders gathered in Hermann Park Conservancy on May 11 to plant 25 inaugural trees. The group also removed invasive species from the area to eliminate competition for the newly planted trees and restore native habitat conditions.
Planting trees to fight climate change has gathered significant momentum in recent years, as each individual tree can offset approximately 22 pounds of carbon emissions per year over its first 20 years of life, according to conservative calculations from OneTreePlanted.org. The One Trillion Tree Initiative, announced at the 2020 World Economic Forum in January 2023, could effectively reduce carbon emissions by 20% year-over-year for the next two decades through reforestation efforts.
Like other carbon capture solutions, reforestation must be pursued with proper planning and care, so as not to waste time nor resources. But many tout reforestation as the simplest way to reduce carbon emissions and meet all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals simultaneously.
With this commitment to reforestation, the Houston Texans join the Astros, Rockets, Dash, and Dynamo in a collective effort to fight climate change. Earlier this spring, the Houston Astros partnered with 1PointFive in an agreement to purchase carbon dioxide removal credits from the new Direct Air Capture facility near Odessa in Ector County, TX.
Like the Texans, the soccer teams of Houston are donating trees for each victory achieved this calendar year. In partnership with Shell Energy, the Dynamo and Dash have already committed to 1,750 new trees from their 5 aggregate wins this spring.
Additionally, each of the homes of these Houston teams follows in the footsteps of Houston’s original green arena, the Toyota Center. One of 10 Green NBA arenas to earn LEED certification, the home of the Houston Rockets boasts energy efficient lighting, electric submeters, and an abundance of trees and vegetation in an urban setting to reduce greenhouse gases by over 3,000 tons annually.
Shell Energy is giving the home of the Dynamo and Dash a decarbonization facelift this year, with energy efficient LED-lighting throughout, installation of EV charging stations, and the use of on-site renewable energy generation systems.
Similar efforts continue to roll out at Minute Maid Park and NRG Stadium, including food sustainability programs, dedicated recycling for aluminum, plastic, and cardboard, and complete conversion to more efficient lighting solutions on the field, in the bathrooms, and even out in the parking lots.
Whether rooting for the home team or cheering on the visitors, fans that attend Houston events at these stadiums and arenas benefit from the knowledge and experience of local talent stewarding such energy transition initiatives. Maybe it’s time to bring back the historic chant of the Oilers, with a modern twist, “go blue–and green!”