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Atlanta Hawks game becomes world's first sports event with sustainability recognition

The game against the Knicks on May 30 became the first sporting event with a Total Resource Use and Efficiency certification.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks won more than just the playoff game against the Knicks on May 30. 

On Monday, the team announced in a statement that the playoff game received Total Resource Use and Efficiency certification from Green Business Certification. It is the world's first TRUE-certified sporting event, they said.

The sold-out game hosted nearly 16,000 fans at State Farm Arena and met the GBCI's list of certification requirements, according to a news release. GBCI is the world's leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body.

They said the list includes having a zero waste policy, meeting numerous recycling regulations and achieving a 90 percent diversion of solid, non-hazardous wastes from landfill, incineration and the environment.

Several organizations, such as the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, CompostNow and volunteers from Jonesboro Middle School helped the team with its achievement. 

Sofi Armenakian, director of sustainability and operations for the team and the arena, thanked fans and volunteers via a press release for their vital role in the recognition.

"We recognize how important it is for sports to create change and know this is just another way how a sports venue can contribute positively and act sustainably in their community," added Armenakian.

Back in February, both the team and the arena diverted 97 percent of fan-created waste during the 2021 NBA All-star game, according to the team's statement. It acknowledged the help of Rubicon, a software platform aimed at providing waste, recycling and city solutions to governments and businesses worldwide.

The Atlanta Hawks are currently in a playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers.