State Farm Arena zero waste accomplishments


State Farm Arena diverted lots of waste Image: Atlanta Hawks

The National Basketball Association (NBA) team Atlanta Hawks and their home pitch – the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, US – announced recently that they have successfully diverted more than 2,503,745 pounds of all waste from landfills throughout its 2022 slate of Hawks’ basketball games, concerts and ancillary events.

‘Atlanta Hawks’ stated that as part of this sum, the award-winning downtown Atlanta venue recycled nearly one million pounds of materials (aluminum, cardboard, plastics, glass, etc.). Last April, the award-winning venue became the first sports and entertainment venue to become TRUE Platinum certified for zero waste. Achieving zero waste certification means diverting more than 90 percent of all waste from landfills and continuing to operate in a sustainable manner.

The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, US. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at the State Farm Arena.

Committed to entertaining and uniting the City of Atlanta since 1968, the Atlanta Hawks and the State Farm Arena, under the leadership of Principal Owners Tony Ressler and Jami Gertz, continue to build bridges through basketball by following its ‘True to Atlanta’ mantra. On the court, the Hawks’ exciting young core is led by the All-Star point guard Trae Young as the organization received the NBA’s top ranking in overall in-game experience for the last two seasons. Off the court, the Hawks organization focuses on positively impacting the lives of Atlantans through providing access to youth basketball, fighting food insecurity and the transformation of the State Farm Arena into Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct for the 2020 elections.

The 21,000-capacity State Farm Arena is a multipurpose arena located in Atlanta, Georgia, US. The arena serves as the home venue for the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks.

Home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, the award-winning State Farm Arena is a next-generation sports and live entertainment venue focused on experience, sustainability and service. Inspired by the City, the venue features fan-friendly food pricing, premium restaurant options as well as experiential and celebrity-inspired spaces. In 2022, the State Farm Arena became the world’s first venue to earn TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification for zero waste. The State Farm Arena consistently ranks among the top 10 concerts and event venues in the world from industry-leading publications Pollstar and Billboard. Accessible to every fan, the downtown Atlanta arena hosts approximately 175 events and close to two million guests annually and stakes its claim as the City’s best sports and live entertainment venue.

Said Sofi Armenakian, Hawks and State Farm Arena Head of Sustainability, “We are so grateful to our fans, concertgoers and partners who have helped us continue setting a new standard in the sports and live entertainment industry and beyond. For us, it has always been about consistency and intent behind the decisions that enable us to operate zero waste, and we are always looking for ways to continue innovating. As we all strive to be a part of the solution, we know that together, we can continue diverting more waste from landfills, and we continue to ask fans to join us outside the walls of our venue on this forever journey to operate more sustainably in their daily lives.”

The State Farm Arena’s zero waste operation accomplished the following in 2022:

  • Recycled nearly one million pounds of materials (998,260 pounds). This primarily included aluminum, plastics, cardboard, glass, and more;
  • Composted 734,775 pounds of food and organic material. Any food that could not be donated was composted. Composting is the natural process of turning organic matter, such as food and compostable service ware, into a valuable fertilizer used by the local farmers;
  • Reused or donated 610,656 pounds of materials like food, electronics, clothing, crates, pallets, and more;
  • Reduced annual waste by 160,054 pounds by eliminating paper tickets, individual condiment packets, disposable service ware, and more; and
  • All material diverted from the landfill in 2022 totaled more than two-and-a-half million pounds.

‘Atlanta Hawks’ further stated that since the Summer of 2021, the Hawks and State Farm Arena have worked closely with Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling to continue encouraging fans to recycle. The partnership has focused on promoting sustainability, responsible recycling and a circular economy. At the end of last year, the Hawks and Novelis unveiled ‘FULL COURT PRESS’, a sculpture made up of nearly 404 lbs. of upcycled aluminum cups and cans in the shape of the primary Hawks logo, located on the Terrace level by the Gate 2 entrance at the award-winning venue.

Novelis Inc. is driven by its purpose of shaping a sustainable world together. They are the global leader in the production of innovative aluminum products and solutions and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum. Novelis ambition is to be the leading provider of low-carbon, sustainable aluminum solutions and to achieve a fully circular economy by partnering with their suppliers, as well as their customers in the aerospace, automotive, beverage can, and specialties industries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Novelis had net sales of $12.3 billion in fiscal year 2021. Novelis is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited, an industry leader in aluminum and copper, and the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbai, India.

Stated Suzanne Lindsay-Walker, Vice-President of Sustainability, Novelis, “Novelis is proud to stand alongside the Hawks and State Farm Arena as they more than doubled their previous achievement of diverting one million pounds of waste from landfills. Aluminum can and should be recycled over and over, back in the hands of Atlanta fans in as little as 60 days, and this partnership is making it easier than ever to recycle at one of the top venues in the United States.”

The Hawks and State Farm Arena continue to lead the way in sustainable practices for sports and live event venues. In October 2022, the Hawks and State Farm Arena joined forces with the American Global Advisory, Development and Investment Company for Sports and Live Entertainment industries – the Oak View Group (OVG) – the American multinational sports holding conglomerate Fenway Sports Group, and Jason F. McLennan (prominent figure in the Green building movement) to accelerate the sports and entertainment industry’s response to the climate crisis.

GOAL, which stands for Green Operations and Advanced Leadership, will provide venues with a tactical roadmap, easy-to-use tracking tools, a library of resources, and access to like-minded operators, vendors and sponsors all committed to operating more sustainably, more urgently.

In April 2022, Green Business Certification Inc., the world’s leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body, announced that the State Farm Arena earned the TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification.

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