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April 22, 2016

EnvironmentALS: The Alouettes are tackling climate change

Leadership. Dignity. Respect. Credibility. Quality. Partnership. These values taken from the mission statement of the Montreal Alouettes have been the guiding principles of the Club and have shaped interactions with key stakeholders and influenced club operations since its return to Montreal in 1996. The fans expect no less.

As a “customer-driven” organization, the Alouettes have always been attuned to issues that are important to their fans. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that as climate change has become the defining environmental issue for this generation, the Club has formalized its commitment to environmental sustainability.

The Alouettes have always made efforts to operate in a sustainable way; the Club had actively taken steps to reduce waste, increase recycling and energy efficiency, and was constantly looking at ways to reduce its environmental footprint. However, in 2008 the Alouettes launched their EnvironmentALS program, which formalized its plan of action and community engagement focusing on sustainability. This initiative has led to the Alouettes becoming the first ‘carbon neutral’ football team in the CFL – as well as the first professional sports franchise in Canada.

One important way to address global warming is through a carbon neutral initiative. “Going carbon neutral” has become the catchphrase to signal that an organization has taken action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so as to contribute to the fight against climate change. It is defined as calculating total climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions from an event, organization or business, reducing them where possible, and balancing the remaining emissions by purchasing high-quality carbon offsets.

In order to become carbon neutral, the Alouettes undergo an annual third-party audit of their carbon emissions with Planetair, following a rigorous process which also identifies areas in which the Club can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Administration

  • Using environmentally-friendly paper for office use (FSC certified).
  • Introducing electronic invoicing to clients when possible.
  • Improving the office recycling system (paper, glass, plastic, and printer ink cartridges).
  • Recycling old computers and office equipment that are refurbished, and distributing them to schools and not-for-profit organizations at a low cost.

 

Stadium Operations and Facilities

The Alouettes are working to make the stadium and its operations more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

1. Waste Reduction
Following each game, Entretien Charteau, the stadium’s maintenance crew, sorts through approximately 85 per cent of the waste generated by games to maximize recycling.
The Club will continuously work to reduce waste created by stadium operations and improve waste recuperation programs in order to increase its diversion rate.

2. Toxics
The Club’s maintenance partner uses low VOC (volatile organic compounds) and non-toxic, environmentally-friendly (and Ecologo certified) cleaning products. The stadium is outfitted with recycled hand and toilet paper.

Transportation

The Club has already made significant efforts to promote public transit to its fans. The Club’s shuttle service transports more than 70,000 fans per year to and from the metro system and the stadium.

Through the EnvironmentALS plan, the Club will also:

  • Encourage and improve access to alternative transportation to games. Thirty four percent of the Club’s fans drive to games (average 2.5 passengers per car). The Club will work to lessen this number by working to convert drivers into commuters.

 

The Montreal Alouettes intend to pursue their environmental action plan and vow to raise awareness of the fundamental principles of sustainable development to their fans, their suppliers, their sponsors and the community.