Sofi Armenakian joined the Hawks and State Farm Arena in 2020 and currently is the Head of Sustainability. As she oversees the sustainability department for the award-winning venue, she was the first employee in the organization to be tasked with leading sustainability efforts with a focus on zero-waste operations for the franchise and the first person to hold a title in sustainability across the NBA. Her focus in her role is in three key areas including environment social and governance (ESG), guest and employee engagement as well as future of sustainable operations, which lie in automation. In Oct. 2022, Armenakian was recognized by industry publication Sports Business Journal as one of 10 Executives to Watch in Sports Sustainability and was in the class of the 2022 All-Stars through VenuesNow.
In summer of 2022, she led the Hawks and State Farm Arena’s joint efforts in the launching of GOAL (Green Operations and Advanced Leadership) in partnership with OakView Group and Fenway Sports Group. As of the end of 2022, GOAL has 25 founding members across the country.
Under her supervision, State Farm Arena became the first sports and entertainment venue in the world to earn TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Platinum certification for zero waste in April 2022 and was the first to be re-certified in April 2023. In achieving TRUE Platinum, the venue earned near the maximum number of points from a variety of categories including: redesign, reduce, reuse, compost (re-earth), recycle, zero waste reporting, diversion (min. 90%), zero waste purchasing, leadership, training, zero waste analysis, upstream management, hazardous waste prevention, closed loop system and innovation. In 2021, State Farm Arena also hosted the first-ever zero-waste NBA All-Star Game and delivered the first TRUE certified sporting event in the world (Hawks’ Eastern Conference First Round Game 4 versus the New York Knicks on May 30).