SAVED BY ZERO: Enmarket Arena opened in 2022 with sustainable operations as a priority. (Courtesy venue)

Holistic Sustainability is the GOAL

Virtually nothing will go to waste when Dave Matthews Band opens its fall tour at Enmarket Arena in Savannah, Georgia on Nov. 7.

The band and the Oak View Group-run venue are aiming to make the show a zero-waste concert experience.

The effort is in partnership with GOAL, an OVG-led initiative bringing together sustainability-minded sports and entertainment operators like the NBA Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, Fenway Sports Group, and green building expert Jason F. McLennan. (Oak View Group is parent company to Pollstar and VenuesNow).

GOAL aims to bring “holistic sustainability” to venue operators and touring artists, according to Kristen Fulmer, OVG Head of Sustainability, and director of the GOAL program.

Enmarket Arena opened in 2022 with sustainable operations as a priority. Green features at the 9,500-seat venue include 100% LED lighting; auto-water faucets, waterless no flush urinals and low-flow toilets; and all-electric forklifts, scissor lifts and golf carts.

Reusable souvenir cups are offered and two ORCA devices in the kitchen refine food waste into liquid and that goes through drains.

WASTE KILLER: This ORCA unit turns food waste to liquid. (Courtesy vendor)

“GOAL exists to make sustainability easy for venues like Enmarket Arena and artists like Dave Matthews Band,” said Fulmer in a news release. “We work with sports and entertainment organizations at various stages in their respective sustainability journeys, providing them with tactical roadmaps, tracking tools and a community of like-minded leaders.”

With support from Live Nation, the aim is to divert more than 90% of waste from landfills in all event operations. That is the level considered to be “zero waste.”

Enmarket Arena is partnering with a local compost hauler to recirculate organic waste and a team of volunteers sorts waste after the show Local after-school programs were recruited to decorate the arena’s compost bin signage with nature themes.

OVG Hospitality, the building’s concessionaire, prioritizes a lower-carbon, plant-based menu options with more to be added. Reusable water bottle stations for guests and artists and compostable materials are provided by EcoProducts and recyclable cups are supplied by Ball.

Other green measures will include:

-free shuttles to and from the Savannah Civic Center downtown to the arena;

-an exclusive area in the Chatham Parkway Toyota lot at the arena with portable solar-powered charging stations for all guests’ electric vehicles;

-Enmarket Arena and GOAL will procure renewable energy through local energy company, Coastal Electric Cooperative, an electric cooperative headquartered in Midway, Georgia, and a member of Green Power EMC. Coastal Electric Cooperative will power Enmarket Arena for the night with energy generated at Arlington I Solar Farm, a 20-megawatt facility in Early County, Georgia.

OVG360’s Monty Jones, Jr., Enmarket Arena’s general manager, said he and his team welcome the opportunity “to highlight our sustainability efforts and showcase that venues like Enmarket Arena can be successfully sustainable.”

“We can continue working towards protecting the planet and our communities in all we do,” he said in a release.

Dave Matthews Band is launching a five-city, eight-show fall tour at Enmarket. The band has an ongoing partnership with The Nature Conservancy that’s resulted in three million trees being planted since 2020. Fans can add an optional donation of $2 per ticket to plant a tree with The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees reforestation campaign. The band works with non-profit organization REVERB on the BamaGreen Project, encompassing all of the DMB’s environmental efforts.

Those attending the show are being encouraged to bring plant-based food donations to support America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. Enmarket Arena is also sponsoring a community clean-up day the day before the show.