A number of organizations have joined forces to help the sports and entertainment industry’s response to the climate crisis. GOAL, which stands for Green Operations & Advanced Leadership, will provide venues with a roadmap, tracking tools, resources, and access to operators, vendors, and sponsors all committed to operating more sustainably. Oak View Group, the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena, Fenway Sports Group, and Jason F. McLennan are launching the program.
What does the GOAL program do?
Inspired by the Climate Pledge Arena, which is expected to become a Carbon Zero Certified arena, the GOAL membership portal will be powered by customized software developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Member venues will have the opportunity to track their performance against scientifically backed standards in environmental and social categories such as energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, indoor air quality, and health and wellbeing.
The GOAL Standard will also include opportunities to build a customized roadmap toward venue-specific values and locally relevant needs. As a member of GOAL, a venue will be able to track its progress against a set of scientifically proven standards. It will also be able to track against comparable venues – looking at factors such as geography, venue type and size, tenants, and the age of the building.
State Farm Arena has already been diverting a minimum of 90% of all waste from landfills and incineration during basketball games, concerts and events, leading to TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification from Green Business Certification (GBCI).
The venue diverted more than 500,000 pounds of waste during Hawks’ home games throughout the 2021-22 NBA Season. The Hawks and venue worked closely with one of their sustainability partners, Novelis, who provided guidance and operational knowledge to organize, sort and recycle aluminum and other materials.
It also recently switched from single-stream to multi-stream recycling, increasing the value of its recyclables by separating them into individual streams (e.g. aluminum, plastic, cardboard, glass, etc.), and switched from black recycling bags to clear bags in order to more easily spot contamination: when a given type of waste is placed in an incorrect receptacle. At its gift shop, it eliminated plastic bags altogether, opting instead for 100% compostable cardboard paper.