Oak View Group has teamed up with Fenway Sports Group, the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena to launch GOAL, a new sustainability platform for arenas, stadiums and other venues.
GOAL, which stands for Green Operations & 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.
Jason F. McLennan, founder of McLennan Design and chief sustainability officer at Perkins & Will, will sit on GOAL’s board of directors as an equity holder and guide the creation of content and standards.
The platform has been inspired by the work at OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena, the new home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA’s Seattle Storm which opened last year. The venue, which is sponsored by Amazon through its climate change campaign, is on track to be the world’s first carbon zero-certified arena.
GOAL has been developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services and member venues will be given the chance to track their 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.
The GOAL Standard will also include opportunities to build a customised roadmap toward venue-specific values and locally relevant needs. GOAL will be led by Kristen Fulmer, OVG360’s new sustainability director and the founder of front-office sustainability consultancy Recipric.
Fulmer said: “By focusing our mission on operational sustainability, GOAL has the unique opportunity to redefine the priorities within our industry, which is up against intersecting climate and social crises.
“We want to work with leading, like-minded venues to determine the most feasible, yet ambitious sustainability solutions. 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.”
OVG will be supported by FSG, owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park. FSG also owns English Premier League football club Liverpool.
State Farm Arena will also work with OVG on GOAL after becoming the first sports and entertainment venue in the world to be awarded TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification by the Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI).
Steve Koonin, chief executive of the Hawks and State Farm Arena, said: “Sustainability is never a message of ‘we did it’. Environmental and social sustainability is a lifelong commitment, and we’re just getting started.
“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.”
FSG chairman Tom Werner added: “Preservation and protection have been FSG’s approach to safeguarding two of the sports world’s most historic venues for the next generation of fans.
“Sustainability has been central to those efforts, and as standards and technology evolve, so must our practices. We recognise this ongoing journey requires constant attention and in joining this ambitious GOAL partnership, we will help, and learn from, venues across the globe as we all navigate the intersection of sports, entertainment, and sustainability.”