Oct 22 2021 - Seattle, Washington USA

Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena Makes Climate History

Overhead image of Climate Pledge Arena with the Space Needle, Seattle city skyline, and Mount Rainier in the background

By The Climate Pledge Team

We are thrilled to share that our namesake, Climate Pledge Arena opens its doors to the public today! Learn about the many reasons it’s setting the standard as the most sustainable public event center in the world.

Built with the goal of being the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world, Climate Pledge Arena officially opens today with a performance by Coldplay, appearances by special guests, and a series of special events throughout the weekend.

In addition to the musical and athletic heroes that fill the events calendar are the sustainability stars of this landmark event center—the elements that make up the groundbreaking environmental operations: details like the “Rain to Rink” system that captures rainwater for the hockey ice rink, the all-electric systems using no fossil fuel, and the 100% renewable energy powered property.

As the Climate Pledge Arena team sets new sustainable and net-zero standards for public event centers around the world, they admit: “This may sound ambitious, but that’s the point.”

Living wall inside Climate Pledge Arena

The Climate Pledge namesake

It all started back in June 2020, when Amazon announced that it secured the naming rights to the iconic arena in Seattle, home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA's Seattle Storm. Amazon decided to call it Climate Pledge Arena, in honor of The Climate Pledge, co-founded in 2019 by Amazon and Global Optimism. The Pledge is a rallying call for action—for companies and organizations to commit to net-zero carbon by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement, or sooner.

Modelo Cantina inside Climate Pledge Arena

The opening is a historic moment, as Climate Pledge Arena aims to set a new sustainability bar for the sports and events industry, and we hope others are inspired to join us in the ongoing fight against climate change.

Building a net-zero carbon certified stadium

Ice rink inside Climate Pledge Arena

Developed by the Oak View Group, along with an investment and collaboration from Amazon, the arena is the first arena in the world targeting net-zero carbon certification through The Living Future Institute. In addition to exemplary features like the all-electric operations and the “Rain to Rink” system (creating the greenest ice in the NHL!), other stand-out features include the original 44-million-pound roof from the previous KeyArena which was reused in construction to significantly reduce the embodied carbon of the building, and the arena’s food program, led by executive chef Molly DeMers, which will be sourced locally on a seasonal basis to support regional farmers and producers, with all viable unused food from events donated to local community food programs.

Supporting local residents and organizations

Seattle Kraken and Storm tickets will also double as free public transit passes to promote use of public transportation for attendees versus driving, including the use of the refurbished Seattle Monorail.

In an effort to support local sustainable initiatives beyond the arena property, One Roof Foundation and Climate Pledge Arena, in collaboration with Amazon, are also providing $500,000 in funding to nonprofits in the Seattle area that are advancing environmental justice and positive social change. The nonprofits largely represent Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and underserved areas.

In recognition of their incredible work, the 2021 grant award winners include:

  • Bike Works, a South Seattle-based nonprofit that makes bicycling accessible and affordable to help empower youth and address climate change. 
  • Earthlab, a University of Washington initiative pushing boundaries and developing innovative, just, and equitable solutions to environmental challenges. 
  • Chief Seattle Club’s Sovereignty Farm project, a seed-to-table social enterprise that provides ways for Indigenous elders, apprentices, artisans, and farmers to grow Native foods and focus on land stewardship and food sovereignty.  
  • Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition, a community-based nonprofit representing the residents of the Duwamish Valley region of South Seattle. The group is focused on increasing youth engagement and education, supporting placemaking and placekeeping, improving air quality and respiratory health, and combating the hyper-local impacts of climate change.
  • Lake City Collective, a grassroots, volunteer-run nonprofit advocating for a clean and safe environment for the families and youth from diverse communities in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood.
  • Seattle Parks Foundation, a nonprofit partner to Seattle Parks and Recreation that brings people together to create a thriving, accessible, and connected system of public space for all people.
  • Spark Northwest, which partners with communities to build an equitable clean-energy future for all. 
  • Transportation Choices, a policy and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to making transportation accessible to all in Washington state.
Climate Pledge Arena sign lit up at night

For more information about this weekend’s events and future events, visit climatepledgearena.com/events.

For more details on the sustainability features and goals for Climate Pledge Arena, visit climatepledgearena.com/sustainability.

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