Oak View Group, the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, Fenway Sports Group, and Jason F. McLennan have joined forces to accelerate the sports industry’s response to climate change with the GOAL program.
GOAL, which stands for Green Operations and Advanced Leadership, will provide venues with a tactical roadmap, tracking tools, a library of resources and access to operators, vendors and sponsors committed to operating sustainably.
“We want to work with leading, like-minded venues to determine the most feasible, yet ambitious sustainability solutions,” said Kristen Fulmer, OVG360’s new sustainability director. “I am committed to prove that any venue can integrate win-win sustainability solutions that reduce the operating costs of the venue while avoiding negative environmental impacts and increasing positive social impacts.”
Inspired by the work at OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena, the home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA’s Seattle Storm, the GOAL membership portal will be powered by software developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services.
Member venues will have the opportunity to track 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.
State Farm Arena was the first sports venue in the world to earn the TRUE zero-waste certification.
“Environmental and social sustainability is a lifelong commitment, and we’re just getting started,” said Steve Koonin, chief executive officer of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. “With our new partners at Fenway Sports Group and Oak View Group, we can now share our journey with other like-minded venues just beginning their journeys. We can all certainly make progress as individual venues, but we are stronger as an industry if we work together to do better for a sustainable future.”
As a member of GOAL, a venue will be able to track its progress month-to-month and year-to-year against a set of 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.
Jason F. McLennan, founder of McLennan Design and chief sustainability officer for Perkins & Will, will sit on GOAL’s board of directorss. McLennan is considered one of the world’s most influential individuals in architecture and the green building movement.
“There is a foundational lack of curated information, guidance, roadmaps and tools for the industry — specifically venue operators — to manage major civic venues in environmentally and socially sustainable ways. GOAL is going to fill that void in a practical yet aspirational way,” McLennan said.