Climate Pledge Arena Brings CleanTech To Life (Video)

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This weekend, after 3 years of construction and $1.2 billion of private investment, Climate Pledge Arena opens its doors to the public. The Arena will be home to the Seattle Kraken (the NHL’s newest franchise), the 4-time WNBA champions Seattle Storm, and lots of popular live entertainment and music.

But what’s more interesting than the reveal of another new public gathering space is that Climate Pledge Arena will be the first net zero-certified arena in the world.

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Described as “part re-build, part new-build” by Interior Design magazine, the glass-and-aluminum structure is intended to become a new sustainability model for the sports and events industry. Climate Pledge Arena, located at Seattle Center, is a complete redevelopment of an historic landmark, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The 44-million-pound landmark roof was held up by temporary steel columns while the new arena was constructed underneath, doubling the square footage.

It is fully powered by renewable energy, and sustainability is embedded into every element of the building.

In June, 2020, Amazon secured the Seattle facility’s naming rights. Rather than embed the company name into the Arena’s moniker, however, the company titled it after the Climate Pledge initiative, which calls on signatories to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 — a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement.

How will Climate Pledge Arena Achieve Carbon Neutrality?

Over 200 businesses have accepted the challenge to turn the climate crisis into climate action, thereby reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early. Here’s how the Climate Arena intends to meet those climate pledge goals.

Carbon Zero:

  • It is the first International Living Future Institute certified zero carbon arena in the world.
  • No fossil fuel consumption is involved for daily use: mechanical systems, gas combustion engines, heating, dehumidification, and cooking – all are converted to electric.
  • Solar Panels on the Alaska Airlines Atrium and 1st Ave Garage are combined with off-site supplementary renewable energy for 100% renewable energy power.
  • They reduce all carbon emission activities and offset all those they cannot – like transportation – by purchasing credible carbon offsets.

Zero Single Use Plastic:

  • They are the first arena and NHL Team to announce the intention to eliminate single use plastics starting with this week’s opening.
  • They are committed to being 100% free of single-use plastics by 2024.

Water Conservation:

  • Given the location on Puget Sound, they believe it is important to demonstrate leadership in water quality and water use wherever they can.
  • The  “Rain to Rink” system will harvest water off the roof, collect it into a 15,000 gallon cistern, and turn it into the greenest ice in the NHL.
  • Waterless urinals and ultra-efficient showers are in bathrooms and player spaces.
  • Significant on-site retention tanks reduce stormwater runoff.
  • Water bottle filling stations are available throughout the arena.

Zero Waste:

  • By greatly simplifying their supply chain, they will target a 97%+ diversion rate, which is considered ‘zero waste’ in the industry.
  • Consumer education, beautiful and simple infographics, and on-site sorting will allow them to reach this level of performance.
  • They will be composting waste and recycling extensively throughout the arena.
  • Single use plastics will be removed from the arena by 2024.

A Cleantech Aesthetic is Everywhere in Climate Pledge Arena

Ken Johnsen, Climate Pledge Arena construction lead, called it “an engineering marvel.” Strategizing solutions to zero emissions was key to the advanced design of the Climate Pledge Arena.

  • As part of the Climate Pledge, Climate Pledge Arena won’t draw upon any fossil fuels in its daily operations, as it will be powered entirely by renewable energy.
  • It also has a comprehensive water-conservation program that reroutes rainwater from the roof to ice-making for NHL play and Zamboni manicuring.
  • It is generating functionally zero waste at its opening.
  • There is a “living wall” with live plants that has been nicknamed “Instagram Alley.”
  • 150,000 square feet of suite and dining spaces create a soothing Pacific Northwest charm through recovered and locally sourced Chinkapin oak and Bigleaf maple millwork.
  • There is wood, exposed brick, and tile throughout the arena, showing less of the one million square feet of concrete needed and 8,900 tons of structural steel used to build the facility.
  • Multiple walls include memorable art displays, one with rotating parts that make it appear like leaves falling. Another looks like the Seattle skyline from one angle but the Kraken logo from another.

For both concerts and sporting events, Climate Pledge Arena will use the latest technologies to improve the fan experience. The Kraken+Climate Pledge Arena app will help fans manage tickets, get to and from the game, and access Kraken information. Four marketplaces featuring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology with Amazon One will make the in-arena shopping experience more efficient and cut wait times so guests can get back to the action faster.

To watch the Coldplay concert, fans worldwide will tune in live on the Amazon Music app, the Amazon Music channel on Twitch, or on Prime Video for all customers with or without a Prime Membership. The show took place at 7 pm PDT on Friday, October 22. ESPN+ will show the Seattle Kraken game on Saturday, October 23. Puck drop is at 7 pm.

On Sunday, the arena is holding an open house that is free and open to the public. The arena will be open from 10 am – 3 pm and guests will be able to see the new home of the Kraken and Storm. Interested members of the community can RSVP for tickets at

Climate Pledge Arena By The Numbers:

  • Days to build: 1,049
  • Private investment: $1.2 billion
  • Square feet: 932,000 (including the arena underground garage)
  • Participating construction and trade companies: 200
  • Workers: 5,955
  • Labor hours: 3.5 million
  • Cubic yards of dirt excavated: 680,000
  • Tons of structural steel: 8,900
  • Miles of cable: 280
  • Square feet of concrete: Over a million
  • Sections of glass: 960
  • Live plants and trees: 12,500
  • On-site solar panels: 475

Final Thoughts

The locals will be having lots of fun this weekend, as seven-time Grammy award winners Coldplay will be the featured entertainment as they launch their new album, Music of the Spheres. Amazon Music will stream the show globally so fans can tune in at home or on their mobile devices.

The Seattle Kraken are playing their much anticipated inaugural home NHL game on Saturday, October 23. The following day, members of the public are invited to a Community Open House and Harvest Market at Seattle Center.

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Carolyn Fortuna

Carolyn Fortuna, PhD, is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavey Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla and an owner of a 2022 Tesla Model Y as well as a 2017 Chevy Bolt. Please follow Carolyn on Substack:

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