Last month, Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle’s new sports and events center, opened its doors with a Coldplay concert, 12,500 plants and trees, electronic entry tickets — no paper! — that double as free public transit passes and all-electric operations powered by 100 percent renewable electricity.
Sally Fouts, Amazon’s global leader of The Climate Pledge, sat down with Chris Roe, Amazon’s head of sustainable operations, to learn details about the innovative features of the new arena building, property and functionality — and how it’s setting a new sustainability standard for event centers around the world.
Sally Fouts: Climate Pledge Arena opened in October with the bold goal of making history as the first events center to achieve net-zero carbon certification through the International Living Future Institute and thereby setting a new standard for sustainable design. What does that certification entail, when will it be official, and how is it different from the LEED certification many sports venues around the world have achieved?
Chris Roe: The net-zero carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) is the first worldwide third-party certification standard dedicated to recognizing highly energy efficient buildings that are designed and operated to fully account for their carbon emissions impacts. This means that certified buildings will be all-electric, energy efficient, powered entirely by renewable energy and with a demonstrated reduction in the embodied carbon of building materials. A building must be operational for a year before being able to be certified, so while the arena is registered and on-track for certification, we’re excited to see a year’s worth of operational performance data before Climate Pledge Arena will officially become certified the first net-zero carbon arena in the world. While LEED certification focuses broadly on green building, this ILFI standard goes above and beyond LEED with regards to reducing carbon emissions.