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Climate Pledge Arena

Location: 
Seattle, Washington
Certification level: 
Platinum
Percent of Overall Diversion Achieved: 
91.8%
Facility Size: 
800,000 sq ft
Type of Operation: 
Sports & Live Entertainment Arena
Project Overview: 

Climate Pledge Arena, located at Seattle Center, is a complete redevelopment of an historic landmark, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. It is an industry first, including being the first Zero Carbon Certified arena in the world though the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). The Arena has also achieved LEED Silver certification under LEED v4 for BD+C: New Construction and Major Renovation project. The arena is home to the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and the world’s biggest performers of live music and events.

Climate Pledge Arena serves as a long-lasting and regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action. The Climate Pledge, which was founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019, is a commitment from companies globally to be net zero carbon by 2040.

Climate Pledge Arena is an example of how sustainable design meets sustainable operations. This transformational project is the most significant private investment in Pacific Northwest sports and entertainment history. In partnership, Oak View Group and the City of Seattle set out to reimagine and redevelop an arena constructed under an historic landmarked roof originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and inspired by a Coast Salish rainhat. Since opening (October 2021), the Arena has collected +250,000 gallons of rainwater from the very rain inspired roof to create some of the greenest ice in the NHL.

Operationally, the Arena tracks, measures, and offsets all carbon emissions associated with Arena operations. Climate Pledge Arena has several other sustainability goals that influence Arena operations, several of which are centered around waste. Arena sustainability goals include:

    1. Divert +95% of waste generated from events away from a landfill
    - Over the last 22 months, the Arena successfully held a +90% diversion rate, averaging 93%
    2. Eliminate single use plastic fan facing for purchase
    - Achieved in October 2023
    - There are zero landfillable items for purchase fan facing, all durable ware is either recyclable or compostable
    3. Food Sourcing: the Arena attempts to source 75% of all food ingredients within a 300-mi radius of the building; currently achieving greater than 60%.

In addition to the goals above the Arena provides free public transit on 6 different transit systems for all staff and all fans for every publicly ticketed event. Each ticket into the building allows fans to access via our CPA/Kraken app a free public transit pass starting two hours before doors open until two hours after our event concludes, a key strategy to reduce one of our largest sources of carbon emissions.

To meet our ambitious waste goals, the Arena brought on partners WM, Pritchard Sports and Entertainment and Delaware North to assist in the Arena meeting these waste-related sustainability goals. WM, the Arena’s recycling and compost hauler, not only hauls materials away post every event but aids the Arena with all waste related data collection. WM serves as the Arenas third party waste data verifier to ensure all numbers related to Arena waste operations are accurate.

Pritchard Sports and Entertainment acts as an extension of the Arena’s Housekeeping team and specializes in providing top-notch cleaning services for sports and entertainment venues. In addition, Pritchard Sports and Entertainment conducts on-site sorting at Climate Pledge Arena to ensure each and every material generated at any Arena event is diverted to the correct waste stream.

Delaware North, the Arena’s food and beverage partner played a pivotal role in simplifying the Arena’s procurement and assisting in the elimination of single use plastic fan facing for purchase around the Arena’s marketplaces. Delaware North also assists the arena in procuring food ingredients within a 300-mile radius of the building further reducing carbon emissions associated with food and beverage deliveries.

In addition to data management and on-site sorting, much of the success of the Arena’s zero waste operation is due to simplifying the Arena’s supply chain. The Arena recognizes that what is purchased must be properly disposed of. As of October 2023, the Arena has not only eliminated all single use plastic for purchase fan facing but have also eliminated all landfillable items for purchase fan facing. All food and beverage options for purchase at Climate Pledge Arena are either recyclable or compostable.

In addition to our partners, fan education played a large role in amplifying Arena waste operations. Although every event at Climate Pledge Arena is a zero-waste event, the Arena has worked with tours such as Billie Eilish and Depeche Mode on holding special zero waste shows to further educate fans on the impact waste has on the environment and how they can do their part not only in the Arena but in their communities.

“What we have been able to accomplish through our zero waste operations and beyond proves that sports and live entertainment has its role to play in combating the climate crisis”, said Brianna Treat, Director of Sustainability for the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena.

“When your arena is named after a cause not a corporation you have a unique responsibility to live up to those values. What we’ve been able to achieve with our partners WM and Pritchard at Climate Pledge Arena, one of the busiest arenas in North America, is proof positive of our commitment to leave the world better than how we found it,” said Rob Johnson, SVP of Sustainability for the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena.

Learn more about Climate Pledge Arena in the Follow Your Waste video and their sustainability page.