Sustainability

Here at State Farm Arena, we are focused on being True to Atlanta and committing to sustainable practices that lessen our environmental footprint.

The Platinum Promise

State Farm Arena is the world’s first sports and live entertainment venue in the world to receive TRUE Platinum certification. When beginning this journey in 2019, State Farm Arena diverted only an average of 10 percent of total waste. Since May 2021, the venue has consistently diverted a minimum of 90 percent of fan-generated waste from landfills.

 

According to Green Business Certification, Inc., buildings can earn four levels of TRUE certification: Certified (31-37 points), Silver (38-45 points), Gold (46-63 points) and Platinum (64-81 points). State Farm Arena received the Platinum certification, the highest of four classifications of green buildings. In this platinum classification, the venue has earned near the maximum number of points from a variety of categories including: redesign, reduce, reuse, compost (re-earth), recycle, zero waste reporting, diversion (min. 90%), zero waste purchasing, leadership, training, zero waste analysis, upstream management, hazardous waste prevention, closed loop system and innovation.

 

Learn more about our journey to zero waste here.

The venue’s TRUE Certification for Zero Waste includes these sustainable milestones:

First ‘Zero Waste’ Sold-Out Event

Billie Eilish, State Farm Arena and Live Nation Team Up for First ‘Zero Waste’ Sold-Out Event.

State Farm Arena partnered with the University of Georgia’s Office of Sustainability to educate fans at the sold-out show dispose items into proper bins, whether it was composting, recycling and landfill waste bins. Read more here

Diverting One Million Pounds of Waste

The arena successfully diverted more than 1,033,716 pounds of waste from landfills throughout its 2021 slate of Hawks’ basketball games, concerts, and ancillary events. Read more here

Partnership with Novelis

Novelis is the official aluminum recycling partner and proud sustainability partner of the Hawks. Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, provides guidance and operational knowledge to organize, sort and recycle aluminum and other materials.

The Hawks’ in-game segment, ‘Recycle and Win presented by Novelis,’ highlights fans who responsibly diverts waste by correctly using the arena’s compost, recycle and trash bins. Read more here

Focus on a Circular Economy

Within State Farm Arena, we have a strong focus on using responsible materials that within their first production, will never end up in a landfill. We consciously separate and bale our cardboard and send to one of our vendors, who then uses this cardboard as recycled material that will make its way back to the arena in the form of boxes and compostable paper concession service ware.

Fun Fact: Aluminum and Glass are both infinitely recycled materials as well! You could drink out of a glass bottle and if it gets recycled correctly, it could be back on the shelves in less than a month.

The Gold Standard

The venue’s LEED Gold Certification includes these sustainable practices:

In 2009 State Farm Arena (formerly Philips Arena) was the first NBA arena to be awarded LEED Certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. Since then, we have continued to operate in a sustainable manner by implementing the policies developed as part of this certification effort.  Therefore, when it was time to prepare for the building's first major interior renovation in several years, LEED Gold Certification was targeted under the LEED for Commercial Interiors Green Building Rating System.

In addition to the sustainable practices implemented as part of the project's LEED Certification effort, the arena has also begun putting into place efforts to reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill from an operational perspective.

 

The LEED Certification includes these sustainable practices:

The partnership focuses on promoting sustainability, responsible recycling and a circular economy.

LED Lighting

All new lighting fixtures were upgraded to LED fixtures, resulting in a 41% lighting power reduction.

Updated Plumbing

Many existing plumbing fixtures were replaced with more efficient fixtures, resulting in savings of over 540,000 gallons of potable water annually with the new fixtures.

Green Housekeeping

Green housekeeping practices were updated to continue to protect the health of the arena's staff and fans.

Smoke Free

The arena and its surrounding areas became smoke free zones.

True to the Community, True to the Earth

 

State Farm Arena is the world’s first TRUE Platinum certified for zero waste sports and live entertainment venue. Receiving this certification means that 90% of all the materials (everything disposed of in the arena) hauled in a compactor from the arena are diverted from landfill. One of the main requirements to be corporately considered a true Zero Waste facility, only 10% or less of all material hauled from the arena can go to a landfill. Read more here

Multi-Stream Recycling

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As a Zero Waste facility, the arena recently shifted from single stream to multi-stream recycling. Single stream recycling consists of putting all disposable material (paper/cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum) into one compactor, which reduces the value of the materials.

To align with the mission to lessen our environmental footprint and to maintain the value of all materials, now all materials that are picked up from the arena are separated into the following streams:

  • Plastic only
  • Aluminum only
  • Cardboard only
  • Glass only
  • Scrap metal only

We have also made the switch from black plastic bags to compostable bags so that it easier to spot contamination by identifying what materials are inside of the bags. Contamination happens when the different recycling streams mentioned above are mixed together.

 

Hawks Shop Makes the Switch

During the 2020 Season the Atlanta Hawks Brand Merchandising Team recently made the switch from plastic to paper bags. Gear purchased from any Hawks Shop location will now be placed in a bag that is made from 100 percent compostable cardboard. This switch reduces the use of at least 36,000 plastic bags annually.