Certification is highly rigorous standard for validating building decarbonization efforts
SEATTLE, WA — Climate Pledge Arena and the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) today announce that the arena has achieved 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 embodied carbon and energy use through high-impact offset programs. Climate Pledge Arena is the first arena in the world to receive this certification and completes the bold promise Oak View Group, Amazon and the Seattle Kraken made when they announced the arena name in June 2020.
“Our Zero Carbon Certification recognizes highly energy efficient buildings that are designed and operated to fully account for their carbon emissions impacts,” said ILFI CEO 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.”
“In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, Oak View Group, in partnership with the Seattle Kraken and Amazon, set the most audacious sustainability goal ever in the sports and entertainment industry – to build the first arena to be net zero carbon. Despite remarkable obstacles, today we celebrate this achievement for Climate Pledge Arena and the entire industry,” commented Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “Climate Pledge Arena’s ILFI Zero Carbon certification should be an inspiration to every future arena project worldwide because we now know anything is possible, and this is so incredibly necessary.”
“Every day we work towards our Climate Pledge commitment of reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, and the arena’s ILFI certification demonstrates the progress we can make when Climate Pledge signatories work together,” said Kara Hurst, Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon. “I’m proud of the teams who have worked together to bring the world’s first official net zero carbon arena to life, and I’m excited for sports and entertainment fans to continue to experience all the arena has to offer.”
ILFI, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to advancing sustainable building practices, reviewed documentation and required twelve consecutive months of performance data to ensure it meets the certification requirements of the net Zero Carbon standard.
The arena is home to the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, WNBA Seattle Storm and the best in live entertainment. In accordance with the zero carbon certification, the arena eliminated all planned natural gas uses from the building and converted them to all electric, including the building heating system, the Zamboni and the dehumidification system.
“Since the construction process began, Climate Pledge Arena has set a real milestone for the sports and entertainment industry and this certification is proof of what can be accomplished with passion and determination to lower climate change impacts,” added Jason F. McLennan, Principal, McLennan Design and OVG sustainability consultant. “I’m incredibly proud of the team and this accomplishment.”
A key feature of the building certification program 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 adjacent parking garage. To complement the electricity generated by the arena’s solar panels, the Arena and Amazon have purchased and retired more than 100,000 MW hours of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), some of which are from Puget Sound Energy’s Lower Snake River wind farm. The Arena has also pledged to be one of the first commercial customers for Seattle City Light’s Renewable Plus program, a program structured to provide renewable energy for the arena, which is projected to be available in 2025.
The arena went beyond the zero carbon certification to introduce additional sustainability measures including offering free public transit with every game or event ticket and eliminating fan facing single use plastics.
The Climate Pledge, announced in 2019 by Amazon and Global Optimism, calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement. In securing the naming rights of the historic arena in June 2020, Amazon named it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of acting to fighting climate change.
To learn more about Climate Pledge Arena visit www.ClimatePledgeArena.com.
About the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute is an environmental NGO committed to catalyzing the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. The Institute is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. The Institute operates the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most advanced, holistic performance standard for buildings. It is a hub for many other visionary programs that support the transformation toward a living future. Learn more at www.living-future.org.
About Climate Pledge Arena
Climate Pledge Arena, located at Seattle Center, is the complete redevelopment of an historic landmark, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. 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. The arena is named after The Climate Pledge, an initiative founded by Amazon and Global Optimism asking global corporations to become net zero carbon by 2040. Climate Pledge Arena has one of the most progressive sustainability programs of any building its size, including being the world’s first Zero Carbon Certified arena. Climate Pledge Arena opened October 19, 2021. climatepledgearena.com
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
About Oak View Group (OVG)
Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG’s mission is to be a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports, live entertainment, and hospitality industries. OVG is world-renowned as the leading full service live entertainment and hospitality group, with 11 major new arenas either open or under development including: Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center; UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY; Moody Center in Austin, TX; Acrisure Arena in Greater Palm Springs, CA; and CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD; as well as arena development projects for Anhembi Arena in São Paulo, Brazil; FirstOntario Centre Arena in Hamilton, ON; a New Arena and entertainment district in Las Vegas, NV; a New Arena in Cardiff, Wales; and Vienna, Austria. Co-op Live, the most sustainable arena in the UK will open in March 2024 in Manchester, UK. OVG360 is a full-service venue management, hospitality solutions and venue services company servicing more than 400 arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, culture institutions and convention centers world-wide. More information at OakViewGroup.com, and follow OVG on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn.