ATLANTA – The Atlanta Hawks’ game against the New York Knicks last month not only stood out because of the two big teams facing off, but it was important because of State Farm Arena’s efforts for an environment greener.
The May 30 game was the first sporting event to achieve TRUE certification, which stands for Total Resource Use and Efficiency.
In order to become TRUE certified, an event must meet the requirements of the GBCI. These requirements include the establishment of a zero waste policy, having achieved an average of 90% or more overall diversion from landfills, incineration (energy recovery from waste) and the environment for non-hazardous solid waste. . The event must reduce, reuse, recycle, compost and / or recover for productive use in nature or the economy, and comply with all federal, state / provincial and local laws and regulations on solid waste and recycling. In addition, the project complies with all air, water and soil release permits required for the collection, handling or treatment of materials and meets or exceeds through documentation of effort data and waste diversion measures.
The May 30 match brought together 16,458 sold-out spectators.
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“As we continue our journey to make State Farm Arena a zero waste place, we are grateful to our staff and fans who have all worked together to achieve this certification from GBCI,” said Sofi Armenakian, Director of Sustainability and operations for the Hawks and State Farm Arena. “We recognize how important it is for sport to create change and know that this is just another way for a sport site to contribute positively and act sustainably in its community. “
The Hawks have been helped by various organizations such as the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM), which helps create various recycling solutions for the city of Atlanta. CompostNow which provides commercial composting solutions – CompostNow allows us to compost all of our compostable serving items, cutlery and packaging. Additionally, the site activated 15 volunteers, teachers from Jonesboro Middle School, who joined the event as zero waste volunteers. In their roles, they helped venue guests sort through properly to reduce contamination. Additionally, Levy Restaurants, the official food and beverage partner of Hawks and State Farm Arena, contributed to the supply chain process. Pritchard Sports & Entertainment, the team’s official housekeeping partner, also operationally assisted with the collection and sorting of all materials.
“We all want the world to be a cleaner, healthier place for future generations, and we cannot achieve this without focusing on efforts to reduce and eliminate waste. TRUE seeks to instill a more circular economy and enable businesses and organizations to tackle these issues head-on by setting, pursuing and achieving zero waste goals for their facilities, ”said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and Chief from management, USGBC and GBCI. “To reduce the negative impacts of waste on people and the environment, organizations of all kinds will need to scale up and demonstrate leadership by prioritizing policies, operations and actions that dramatically reduce waste and limit extraction and l use of upstream resources. The Hawks and State Farm Arena’s commitment to pursue TRUE for Events certification really brings us closer to our goal of becoming a zero waste community that’s healthier for all of us.
In February 2021, Hawks and State Farm Arena successfully diverted 97% of the waste generated by fans during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game with the help of Rubicon, a software platform that provides waste solutions, recycling and smart city to businesses and governments around the world.
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