By Sean Zucker –
Entering the 2022 season, the NHL is set to introduce its 32nd franchise—the Seattle Kraken. While that’s exciting for hockey fans, it might be more exciting for fans of forward-looking climate action, as the team’s arena promises to be the most ecofriendly destination of its kind.
It’s dedication towards environmental action can even be seen down to the site’s name—Climate Pledge Arena, a reference to Amazon and Global Optimism’s 2019 pledge that called on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040.
“Climate Pledge Arena is the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable arena in the world,” the facility’s site reports. The arena, through its partnership with Amazon, also aims to serve as a long-lasting reminder of the urgent need for climate action.
Designed to hold up to 18,100 spectators, Climate Pledge Arena is attempting to match its ambitious plead though four key sustainability goals.
Right on top of its aims is to be the first International Living Future Institute certified zero carbon arena in the world. By converting all mechanical systems, gas combustion engines, heating, dehumidification and cooking to electric, it plans to see no fossil fuel consumption in the arena for daily use. And thanks to onsite solar panels and offsite supplementary renewable energy, it’s poised to operate from 100 percent renewable energy power.
Next goal—zero single use plastics. The Kraken have officially announced their intention to entirely eliminate plastics from their home ice. Why’s this so crucial? As climate change advocate Hannah Testa explained to WellWell back in October, plastic pollution remains one of the most alarming and overlooked facets of pollution and global warming.
“There’s already so much plastic in our oceans and it’s just another form of an oil spill. Unfortunately, we aren’t reacting to it like an oil spill,” she said. “These plastic pieces are easily ingestible for animals. Plastics also entangle animals, harming many marine species and sea birds. The problems don’t stop there. Plastics also pose a threat to our own health as it intrudes into our drinking supply and seafoods. Worldwide, humans now eat around 5 grams of plastic a week, which is scary. That’s basically a credit card.”
Similarly, Seattle’s puck powerhouse hopefuls intend to conserve water and improve its quality wherever possible. Their “Rain To Rink” system that’ll harvest water off the roof, collecting it into a 15,000-gallon cistern and convert it to ice on the rink. Additional measures include waterless urinals, ultra-efficient showers and significant onsite retention tanks to reduce stormwater runoff.
The final sustainability hurdle for Climate Pledge Arena is becoming zero waste. Be it through consumer education onsite, composting waste and extensive recycling throughout the stands, or the aforementioned removable of single use plastics, the arena is taking this task seriously.
Are all these lofty goals attainable? While it’s still unclear at the moment, many involved appear optimistic.
“I think it is phenomenal and noble,” Tim Leiweke, cofounder of Oak View Group, a co-owner, co-developer and co-operator of Climate Pledge Arena with the Seattle Kraken ownership group,
told Forbes. “Jeff Bezos literally came up with this idea, he paid for it and didn’t plaster the name of his company all over it. Even more phenomenal, he inspired us to change a generation of facilities, so it becomes a culture and way of life now on out.”
It’s a fitting goal, team and venue for a city that Insider dubbed one of the greenest in the country.