Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington is the first arena in the world to be net zero certified through the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

While well-known certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are focused on green building, ILFI certification goes further to include a reduction in carbon emissions and a recognition of all-electric operations and the use of renewable energy. A building must be in operation for at least a year to qualify for ILFI’s net zero certification.

Although the renamed arena was opened to the public in October of 2021, it’s located on the site of the 1962 World Fair, for which it was originally constructed. As a way to use less building materials and eliminate the associated carbon emissions, the existing roof that was originally built for the fair almost 60 years ago was preserved.

The arena claims another “first” as it represents the first naming rights agreement that was focused on a cause (energy efficiency), rather than utilizing a company name (ex. T-Mobile Center, Wells Fargo Center, etc).

The arena’s name comes from The Climate Pledge, founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019. The pledge signifies a commitment by the signatories to be net zero by 2040, 10 years before the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The Climate Pledge signatories, including companies like Clif Bar & Company, Salesforce, HP, and Procter & Gamble, commit to:

  • Regularly reporting and measuring company greenhouse gas emissions
  • Carrying out carbon reduction strategies through real change and innovation including renewable energy, materials reductions, and improvements in efficiency
  • Neutralizing remaining emissions with quantifiable and permanent offsets

Climate Pledge Arena Sustainability Efforts

Here are some of the ways that the Climate Pledge Arena is reducing carbon emissions and prioritizing energy efficiency in everyday operations.

  • Zero fossil fuel consumption in the arena for daily use: all heating, cooking, and more is electric
  • Solar panels on the Alaska Airlines Atrium and 1st Ave Garage, plus off-site renewable energy, for 100% renewable energy power
  • Offset emissions that can’t be reduced, such as transportation, by purchasing carbon offsets
  • Working to become zero waste: composting and recycling, plus the elimination of 100% of single-use plastics by 2024
  • Water conversation efforts like ultra-efficient showers, water bottle filling stations, and a “rain to rink” system that collects water off the roof and turns it into ice for the NHL team
  • Electronic tickets for entry that double as free public transit passes to encourage low emission transport to and from the arena
  • 75%+ of the ingredients used in the arena’s food options are locally sourced within a 300-mile radius, plus all possible unused food is donated to community organizations

The Climate Pledge Arena website says: “Our goal is to be the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable arena in the world. It might sound ambitious – but that’s the point.”

The NHL’s Seattle Kraken and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm call the arena home, and plenty of other live music and events are hosted at the Climate Pledge Arena. The arena plans to host more events that spread the word about the benefits of energy efficiency and the importance of sustainability to protect our environment. They are also committed to partnering with educational organizations to utilize the arena as a classroom for teaching others about going green.

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