MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM BECOMES FIRST PROFESSIONAL SPORTS STADIUM WORLDWIDE TO ACHIEVE TRUE PLATINUM CERTIFICATION FOR ZERO WASTE
TWO MILLION SQUARE-FOOT STADIUM DIVERTS 90 PERCENT OF WASTE FROM LANDFILL
Jan. 9, 2023 – ATLANTA – Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) – the busiest stadium in North America with more than 50 events and 3 million visitors annually – has become the first stadium in professional sports worldwide to be awarded with the environmentally coveted and globally recognized Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) Platinum certification for its zero waste efforts.
Administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), TRUE certification recognizes buildings and projects which have implemented the foundational programs and policies of sustainable waste management and reduction practices, which contribute to positive environmental, health and economic outcomes.
“At two million square feet and a capacity of 75,000 seats, no other sports venue of this size anywhere has accomplished what we’ve done,” said Mercedes-Benz Stadium Chief Operating Officer Dietmar Exler. “This TRUE certification continues Arthur Blank’s long-term sustainable vision for generations of fans, a commitment to reduce our overall environmental footprint both in and around the stadium. We didn’t want to just change what we do at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we wanted to be the example for everyone in the sports and entertainment industry that this can be achieved, and we can make a difference.”
To that, MBS has created a zero waste playbook for other stadiums to use worldwide and will provide materials and counsel to other organizations to help them achieve the same designation.
In June of 2022, MBS achieved TRUE precertification signifying the successful implementation of foundational programs and policies to divert at least 90 percent of waste from landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment, operations needed to effectively pursue zero waste. MBS employs a variety of green practices and programs which allow the stadium to achieve zero waste on event days and in the building’s administrative offices including:
- Using supply chain items made from recyclable and compostable materials
- Leveraging a 6,000-square-foot resource recovery room (R3) to reclaim, sort and divert materials from landfill
- Sustainability education and engagement programs for fans, associates and the stadium’s food and beverage partners
- Recycling and compost bins added to every stadium suite by August 2022
“Businesses must go beyond our current wasteful practices and think critically about how to redesign processes so that less waste is produced in the first place,” notes Peter Templeton, president and CEO of U.S. Green Building Council and GBCI. “Implementing zero waste business practices requires rethinking, retraining, new tools, and strong leadership to change current waste systems. With Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s leadership in this endeavor, they are making great strides for their employees, community, and the sports industry at large.”
In 2017, MBS became the first professional sports venue in North America to reach Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest level for the green building certification program. LEED is the industry’s internationally recognized rating system for environmentally conscious developers and also administered by GBCI.
MBS also employs a variety of other sustainable practices, such as water retention, energy conservation, alternative transportation, urban garden and agriculture programs. MBS has instituted partnerships with like-minded organizations such as Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, Novelis, phade, Waste Management and Ecoworks to further enhance its efforts.