Music

Venue Sustainability Program GOAL Releases First Impact Report

GOAL — a sustainability program developed by founding members Oak View Group, State Farm Arena and its NBA sports tenant the Atlanta Hawks, Fenway Sports Group and green building expert Jason F. McLennan — has released a report outlining the impact of its first year of work.

The group’s 2024 Impact Report reflects data from 40 U.S., Canada and U.K. venues, including large-scale facilities that regularly host music programming like Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, Southern California’s Acrisure Arena and Austin’s Moody Center. GOAL (which stands for Green Operations & Advanced Leadership) sets out to collect data and build a roadmap for a more sustainable live event and venue industry. The report laid out current member performance and identified what future benchmarks could mean for the environment.

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The report states that member venues diverted 32% of waste through reusing, composting and recycling over the last year. If that diversion rate reached 90% for all GOAL members, they could avoid emissions “equal to driving to the moon and back 75 times in a standard gas-powered car,” according to the report.

The average member venue used 14.48 million gallons of water over the year. If each member reduced their water usage by 5%, it would be enough water for every citizen in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. to have one glass of water.

“The sports and entertainment industry has historically prioritized marketing over positive environmental impact, with venues making declarative statements about sustainability without necessarily following up with concerted action,” said McLennan in the report. “As we move forward, venues must hold themselves and each other accountable, and a consistent rubric for evaluation is essential to build confidence and drive continuous improvement.”

The report also outlines individual efforts at various member venues, with Tampa’s Amalie Arena installing an on-site central energy plant in 2022 to generate electric energy on site, a project that brought the arena’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions (direct greenhouse emissions that occur from sources controlled or owned by an organization and indirect greenhouse emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat or cooling down, respectively) to 51% less than the average NHL arena. New Jersey’s Prudential Center purchased two electric Zambonis, while Atlanta’s State Farm Arena is in the process of quantifying all of its natural gas emissions so they can be offset. The average NBA Arena currently produces 1,611 metric tons of Scope 1 carbon emissions.

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Meanwhile, three GOAL Members — State Farm Arena, Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena in New York — have achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s TRUE Zero Waste Certification, which means they send at least 90% of their total waste to recycling, compost, donation or for reuse.

“I love GOAL. It’s the most important thing we’ve done toward sustainability,” OVG chairman/CEO Tim Leiweke told Billboard in March. “It’s hugely important that we get other people in the industry committed to GOAL. That’s one of [OVG’s] highest priorities.”

Find the complete report here.

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