Keeping Score: Sustainability Reporting At The Intersection of Green & Sports

Statistics and sports go together like Minneapolis and St. Paul. It’s hard to go more than a day without seeing a sports story citing advanced statistical metrics. I just, for the first time, read about a basketball stat called EPV (“Expected Possession Value”).  On the corporate sustainability front, quantitative analysis and reporting is  advancing quickly as well.  So today we (logically, I think) explore the intersection of Sports & Sustainability Reporting.

Seattle-based K2 Sports, a leader in the winter sports/ski equipment world since 1962, has made sustainability an important part of its day-to-day ethos over the last decade or more.  With winter sports feeling the effects of climate change in the here-and-now, companies like K2 Sports have a vested interest in making their business operations as energy efficient and as clean as possible. The company is making significant greening strides, “from energy efficiency to the use of better materials” and is committed to doing more, says Matt O’Laughlin, Senior Design Engineer.

O’Laughlin is one of 15 K2 Green Teamers who work on various sustainability-related projects for the company, on an extra-curricular basis. The challenge for K2 has been measuring and reporting on all of its sustainability-related activities.  “The City of Seattle provided us with an Excel-based tool”, reported O’Laughlin, “but it was extremely time consuming”.

Enter Scope 5, also based in (very Post Super Bowl Ecstatic) Seattle. According to Derek Eisel, Scope 5’s Director of Sales, its sustainability data management software gives organizations the ability to, quickly and easily, “quantify and report CO2 emissions and other environmental and sustainability data.”  These data are then used to make business decisions on, say, how best to reduce carbon emissions.  Or to project what the costs of potential carbon legislation in China might be.

Derek Eisel Scope 5

Derek Eisel, Director of Sales for Scope 5, a leader in sustainability data management software. (Photo Credit: Scope 5)

K2 Sports’ O’Laughlin swears by Scope 5, saying its software is “effective, simple and quick to use, and accurate”.  K2 green teamers can use the time previously spent entering data to step back and, per O’Laughlin, “think (my emphasis) about where we should focus our carbon reduction efforts”, with easy-to-understand cost/benefit analysis backstopping those decisions.

Vulcan, theSeattle-based (sensing a trend?) manager of properties like the Rose Garden, home of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, and Century Link Field, home of the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks (managed by First and Goal, an affiliate of Vulcan), is a new Scope 5 customer.  Cody Crawford, Vulcan’s Senior Manager, Facilities and Operations, told GSB Scope 5 is helping them develop the architecture to report on Scope 2 emissions (i.e. indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, heat, cooling or steam). Once that’s done, Scope 5 will tackle the more complex Scope 3 emissions (those that arise from sources that are owned or controlled by others).

Century Link Field, Seahawks

Century Link Field, home of the Super Champion Seattle Seahawks. Vulcan, Century Link Field’s management company, is using Scope 5 software to help measure and make decisions about its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. (Photo Credit: Seattle Seahawks)

Seattle is, at least for now, the Center of the Football Universe. With companies like Scope 5 leading the way, it may also become a hub for sustainability reporting.  Here’s hoping that, in 2014, the New York Jets wrest the football crown from Seattle (hey, you never know!) and that the sports world builds on the work companies like Scope 5 is doing with forward-thinking organizations like K2 Sports. and Vulcan.

Please comment below!

Email us:  lew@greensportsblog.com

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5 thoughts on “Keeping Score: Sustainability Reporting At The Intersection of Green & Sports

  1. Lew, another great report. Measuring the impact of actions in this era of big data and computer power is the key to choosing effective green measures. Without objective data, we end up in the world of advertising where every product is the “best”. The software you describe is valuable not just because it can summarize the data but more importantly becuase collecting data becomes more user friendly. We need accurrate information collected. Otherwise our measurements are nothing more than garbage in, garbage out.
    Keep up the blog!

  2. Thanks, Bink, for the comment. I heard somewhere that what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed MATTERS! In addition to sustainability software development companies like Scope 5, also worth noting are the sustainability reporting bodies that are growing in acceptance among corporations in the US and abroad. CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) (https://www.cdp.net) provides companies with a framework to report on their carbon emissions. GRI or the Global Reporting Initiative(https://www.globalreporting.org) is is a reporting system that enables all companies and organizations to measure, understand and communicate social and governance data in addition to environmental information. And the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board or SASB (sasb.org), provides standards for use by publicly-listed corporations in the U.S. for disclosing material sustainability issues for the benefit of investors and the public (think the FASB of environmental, social and governance info).

  3. Pingback: Scope 5 in GreenSportsBlog: Sustainability Reporting at the Intersection of Green & Sports | Scope 5

  4. Way to sneak in that Jets reference, Lew. It got me to thinking: What team names are most and least “green”? Jets may rock the verdurous unis but as a travel option they tend to beat out only solo driving, environmental impact-wise (see among others http://greenblizzard.com/carbon-footprint/2010/11/27/is-flying-or-driving-better-for-the-environment/ ). That said, this is sports, so perhaps Jets ought to construed not as a transport mode (despite the proximity of Shea Stadium to LaGuardia Airport that brought about their conversion from Titans), and instead as a state of the art strike capacity tool of Victory for the empire, where environmental concerns are tertiary at best (collateral damage, anyone?). BTW, I suspect Seahawks green will be the hotter sports apparel choice this season, but I, too, will stick with my own Flushing origins and go green as in J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets!

    OK, sorry for the non sequitor comment but hey, its’ nearly March Madness and I am getting my crazy on a bit early as a warmup. Keep the cool posts coming, my man.

  5. Thanks for the comment, Chris! I think the Jets should partner with Sir Richard Branson and Virgin on the latter’s efforts to pioneer fossil-less jet fuel. How cool would that be? Then they’d really be the greenest team.

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