06/06/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

NBA Taking the LEED to Promote Sustainability

part of the National Basketball Association's
Green Week, April 1-9, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam
and representatives from the U.S. Green Building Council
and the Natural Resources Defense Council will be in Portland on Friday
to help us commemorate the
Gold certification of Portland's Rose Garden

accomplishment represents the highest green building certification of
any major league venue in American professional sports, an accomplishment
hailed as a "
in the greening of sports
by the NRDC.

of course, is a city very familiar with green milestones , as the city
boasts more green buildings per capita than any other city in America.
Our achievement is both a product and a reflection of the environmental
leadership in our community.

About 30 percent of our fans
arrive to games by bike, bus or light rail. For those who drive, we've
installed electric vehicle charging stations. More Portlanders
drive hybrids, per capita, than in any other American city. Protecting
our environment is part of what defines our region.

Trail Blazers are proud to play a role in Portland's drive to be the
greenest city in the country. We are hopeful that our actions and our
example can influence fans to create new habits. Many of our greening
initiatives - adding recycling bins, composting, improved bike amenities
- are really about making it easier for fans to reduce their environmental
footprint while enjoying games and events. We believe we can partner
with Portlanders to take meaningful steps to address climate change
and foster a healthier, more vibrant community.

part of a growing movement in the NBA to use the power of sports as
a force for awareness and behavior change. The Rose Garden is the third
NBA venue to achieve LEED certification, joining Atlanta's
Philips Arena and Miami's AmericanAirlines
. No other major
league can make that claim.

throughout the league, the NBA and its teams are directing time and
talent toward making a positive impact in their communities. NBA Green
Week helps highlight these initiatives, programs that put our players
to work as green ambassadors across the country.

pillar of our outreach is sending our players into our community to
serve as positive role models and encouraging others to make a difference
- in school, at home in their community and, ultimately, in the world.
Last week, Trail Blazers Brandon Roy and Dante Cunningham
worked with fifth graders from
Heights Elementary
to plant a community garden. Our players engaged students about community
gardening , and had fun doing it. They, too, learned a lesson
along the way.

Trail Blazers are excited about our ability to impact green awareness,
and recognize that ongoing improvements -- and partnerships with organizations
like the NRDC -- will help strengthen our efforts to protect our scenic
natural heritage and environment. LEED Gold is a big step, but it represents
the beginning of our journey, not our destination.

Trail Blazers are committed to protecting our environment and appreciate
the Green Week efforts that the NBA and its teams, players and fans
are making to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable tomorrow.