News article

Climate Pledge Arena lives up to its name with zero carbon certification

October 19 2023

Seattle’s 18,300-capacity Climate Pledge Arena has achieved Zero Carbon Certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

Climate Pledge Arena lives up to its name with zero carbon certification

The certification is awarded to buildings that are energy efficient, can demonstrate a significant reduction in carbon footprint and offset the remaining carbon and energy used through programmes. 

Climate Pledge Arena is home to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Seattle Kraken, Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Seattle Storm, and also hosts live entertainment.

The Climate Pledge was announced in 2019 by e-commerce and technology giant Amazon and Global Optimism, and calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040. Amazon secured the naming rights of the venue in 2020, opting to name it after the initiative as a reminder of the need to fight climate change. The Oak View Group-developed arena opened in 2021.

To achieve its certification, the arena eliminated all planned natural gas uses from the building and converted them to all electric, including the building heating system, the ice resurfacer and the dehumidification system. 

“Our Zero Carbon Certification recognises highly energy efficient buildings that are designed and operated to fully account for their carbon emissions impacts." ILFI chief executive Lindsay Baker

Elsewhere, a key feature of the certification programme is that 100% of the energy used by the arena must come from renewable energy sources. To help achieve this, the arena installed an array of solar panels on the roof of the atrium and on the nearby parking garage.

To complement the self-generated electricity, the arena and Amazon purchased and retired more than 100,000 MW hours of Renewable Energy Certificates. Additionally, going beyond zero carbon certification, the arena offers free public transit with every game or event ticket, and helps to eliminate fan-facing single-use plastics.

“Our Zero Carbon Certification recognises highly energy efficient buildings that are designed and operated to fully account for their carbon emissions impacts,” said ILFI chief executive Lindsay Baker.

“All operational energy use must be offset by new on- or off-site renewable energy and all embodied carbon emissions associated with construction and materials must be disclosed and offset. This is a significant undertaking, especially for as large and complex a project as Climate Pledge Arena. We are thrilled to see the arena become the first arena to achieve this.”

Image: Sea Cow/CC BY-SA 4.0

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