The name of Amazon’s new Seattle Sports Centre, due to open summer 2021.
When companies commit to reducing their carbon footprints, they do so either to meet regulatory obligations, bolster their images with customers, or because it makes financial sense. But, frequently, those efforts seem amorphous and they are difficult to grasp.
Amazon hopes to change that.
The company has secured the naming rights to an arena in Seattle that is now under construction - one that will ultimately measure its carbon emissions and sustainability performance and it will make that data public. It’s part of the company’s overall climate initiative to have net-zero carbon releases by 2040, which is a decade ahead of the Paris agreement.
The future arena is financed by Amazon and the Oak View Group and it is expected to be the world’s first zero-carbon arena when it is completed in the summer of 2021, reports Forbes.
“For us, this is an opportunity to double-down on climate action,” says Kara Hurst, Amazon’s head of worldwide sustainability, in a talk with this writer. “It’s a chance to learn more about sustainability and to address climate needs while also being a symbol in the Seattle community” where the company is based. Notably, the ultra-modern complex will be called the Climate Pledge Arena.
The arena will sprout from an established 1962 landmark in Seattle. The goal is to restore the complex to its original glory. As such, the arena will have all-electric operations and be powered fully with renewable energy that will either be delivered through distribution lines or be generated onsite from rooftop solar panels. At the same time, all operations will be “zero-waste,” meaning that the materials will be recycled as opposed to sent to landfills. And it will furthermore eliminate single-use plastics by 2024.
The arena will host professional hockey, basketball games and concerts; cleverly, all match or event tickets will double as free public transit passes to promote the use of public transportation for attendees.
“The big story is not only that this will be the greenest arena in the world but that it will touch and inspire the 18,000 people in the arena - host to 200 events a year,” says Jason McLennan, NHL Seattle’s sustainability lead. “We will have a vehicle for inspiration and change.”
The arena may be the visual symbol of what Amazon’s broader goals are. In June, Amazon released its 2020 sustainability report, which says that the company has a goal to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.