GREEN AGREEMENT: Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle has achieved Zero Carbon Certification. (Getty Images).

Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena has achieved Zero Carbon Certification, as awarded by the International Living Future Institute.

Climate Pledge Arena becomes the first arena in the world to receive the certification and completes the promise Oak View Group, Amazon and the Seattle Kraken made when announcing the arena’s name in June 2020.

“What’s exciting about the Zero Carbon certification is it’s really unique in the level of ambition,” says Kristen Fulmer, Oak View Group’s director of sustainability. “That certification requires a huge amount of in-depth analysis, data tracking and you have to go through a lot of vetting and, and auditing. So it’s quite an intensive process, but quite robust and ambitious. The Climate Pledge Arena team is very excited be part of the project and hopefully can take learnings from Climate Pledge Arena into our future developments.” Oak View Group is parent company to VenuesNow and Pollstar.

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, the announcement states.

A key part of the building certification program is that 100% of  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 solar panels, the arena and Amazon purchased and retired more than 100,000 MW hours of Renewable Energy Credits. The arena has also pledged to be one of the first commercial customers for Seattle City Light’s Renewable Plus program, which is designed to provide renewable energy for the arena, and projected to be available in 2025.

“This is a significant undertaking, especially for as large and complex a project as Climate Pledge Arena,” said ILFI CEO Lindsay Baker. “We are thrilled to see the arena become the first arena to achieve this.”

The arena is also to further introduce additional sustainability measures, including offering free public transit with and eliminating fan-facing single-use plastics.

“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,” commented Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “Despite remarkable obstacles, today we celebrate this achievement for Climate Pledge Arena and the entire industry. 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.”

The Climate Pledge, announced in 2019 by Amazon and Global Optimism, calls on signatories to be net-zero carbon across their businesses by 2040, which is a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement.