Blazers become first sports franchise to join BICEP
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
The Trail Blazers are the first franchise to join Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy.
The Portland Trail Blazers lived up to their name Wednesday, becoming the first professional sports team to join Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, known as BICEP.
Formed in 2008, BICEP is a coalition of consumer-facing businesses that advocates for strong U.S. energy and climate policy. The organization is operated by Boston-based nonprofit Ceres and last year held a virtual race from Beaverton to Washington, D.C. to publicize the need for job-creating climate policy.
The Trail Blazers join 20 consumer brands including Nike, Levi Strauss & Co., Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's and Best Buy.
The Blazer's move is unsurprising given the franchise's focus on reducing its carbon footprint, including earning the first LEED Gold certification for an existing sports arena at the Rose Garden. Earlier this year, the Blazers helped launch the Green Sports Alliance to help teams prioritize sustainability issues.
Martin Tull, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, said that the Trail Blazers' decision to join BICEP is "walking their talk and being true to their name."
"In the sports world we understand competition and we know the clean energy race is a competition that professional sports and our larger society can't afford to fall behind on," said Kathleen Behrens, the National Basketball Association's executive vice president for social responsibility and player programs, in a statement. "Getting the right rules in place will be a win-win for keeping the U.S. economy competitive."
BICEP is founded on the idea that to combat climate change, the U.S. must reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. To that end, the organization backs energy efficiency policies, renewable energy standards, increased investment in clean energy technology and other measures to support a clean energy economy.
The coalition was a strong supporter of the Waxman-Markey climate bill introduced in 2009.
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