Amazon secured the naming rights for Seattle’s rebuilt KeyArena, dubbing it the Climate Pledge Arena. The company’s investments helped make it the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world. Among its enviro features is a living wall. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena is the first in the world to receive Zero Carbon certification from an international nonprofit promoting sustainable buildings.

The 800,000-square-foot arena has a maximum capacity of 18,100 attendees and is the home of Seattle’s Kraken NHL team and a concert venue. The facility replaced the KeyArena and opened in October 2021. Amazon paid for its naming rights.

“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,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, which manages the arena.

To achieve Zero Carbon status, a new building must use low-carbon materials in construction and operate in an energy efficient manner, according to the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

It must also pay for offsets to cancel out the carbon impacts of construction and also fund the creation of new renewable power either on- or offsite from the building. Climate Pledge has solar panels on its roof and has purchased clean power from sources including Puget Sound Energy’s Lower Snake River wind farm.

The arena has many of its green bona fides on display, including a massive wall of plants on a lower concourse and large LED screens showing nature scenes or images of sustainability tech such as wind turbines, electric vehicles and solar panels. It promotes recycling of beverage containers and is cutting single-use plastics. It also has a 15,000-gallon cistern to store rainwater captured from its roof that’s used to make ice for hockey games.

“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, in a statement.

Last week Amazon officials announced that its Amazon Fresh store in North Seattle also received Zero Carbon certification from ILFI.

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