Nashville SC Introduces Greener Goals Starting XI Initiative

Greener Goals Starting XI - 1920

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 5, 2024) – Nashville Soccer Club, in collaboration with Urban Green Lab (UGL) and several corporate sponsors, announced today the launch of the “Greener Goals Starting XI,” a pioneering sustainability initiative aimed at addressing critical environmental challenges. This multi-year alliance will focus on helping the city of Nashville meet its citywide sustainability goals over the coming decades, including the reduction of food waste by 50% by the year 2030, and fostering sustainable practices that can be emulated on a global scale.

"Through the Greener Goals Starting XI, Nashville SC and our sponsors are setting a bold example, demonstrating how collaborative, strategic action can address pressing environmental challenges, starting with food waste. Since Nashville produces twice as much trash as the national average and recycles half as much of it, it is our responsibility to do our part and use our platform to make a difference in Middle Tennessee. Together, the Greener Goals Starting XI members are not only aiming to meet local sustainability goals, but to inspire a global movement for change,” said Dan Farrell, Nashville SC VP of Corporate Partnerships.

Urban Green Lab, a local 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to sustainability education, will serve as the official community partner, as it provides educational resources to support the initiative and ensures alignment with citywide priorities and best practices. Their involvement includes advising Nashville SC, training corporate sponsors and supporting community-based projects that educate fans and the community.

Food waste is a pressing issue in Nashville, where up to 40% of food is discarded annually. One in eight Nashvillians faces food insecurity, while discarded food contributes to planet-warming methane emissions in landfills. This waste accelerates climate change and food insecurity disrupts natural ecosystems, and disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations, particularly communities of color.

In the first phase of the project, which started with the club and its members gathering for an educational discussion led by UGL in the lead-up to Earth Day this past April, the Greener Goals Starting XI will take action in:

  • Back-of-House Composting: Launched April 27 to coincide with Nashville SC’s Earth Day match at GEODIS Park with The Compost Company, this project involves the collection of organic waste, which is processed into compost that will keep food out of the landfill and support local agriculture. Thus far, GEODIS Park has composted almost 5,000 pounds of food waste, the equivalent to saving 2.4 tons of greenhouse gases, which is enough to amend an acre of land (or a soccer field). GEODIS Park is also partnering with Justice Industries to recycle glass bottles.
  • Food Rescue Operations: To ensure that no food goes to waste and to support community food security, unsold and unused food from GEODIS Park events is now being redistributed to those in need in collaboration with One Generation Away, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding people since 2013. Thus far, 900 pounds of food has been rescued and donated through this initiative.
  • Concourse Recycling Enhancements: With the help of Coca-Cola Consolidated, WM and TDOT, the club is actively working on improving waste sorting and recycling at facilities installed throughout the concourse, which coupled with educational campaigns, will aim to increase fan participation in recycling efforts at GEODIS Park.
  • Educational Campaigns: The Greener Goals Starting XI members will look to participate in a program aimed at educating their communities on reducing food waste at home and in businesses. This program will also be extended to Nashville SC’s First Team and its Youth Academy.

The Greener Goals Starting XI members will conduct a one-year review led by UGL in April 2025 to evaluate the initiative's impact and identify opportunities for expansion, as they look to continue making significant strides in reducing food waste, improving recycling practices, and educating the community about sustainable living.

List of Greener Goals Starting XI members (in alphabetical order):

For more details on the Greener Goals Starting XI and to learn about how you can participate in these sustainability efforts, please visit Nashville SC’s Greener Goals Starting XI.