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Students Visit the Most Sustainable Arena in the World

Written by Heidi Carlson
February 10, 2023

Students taking CEEGR 3860 Sustainable Engineering toured Climate Pledge Arena to learn about the sustainability aspects of its construction and operation. 

To reduce the embodied carbon footprint of the building, much of the original arena was re-used. In addition, a new rainwater collection and treatment system is used to make the ‘greenest ice’ in the National Hockey League. The building also has a 1.2 MW solar array. During operations, over 95 percent of the solid waste produced by events is either recycled or composted. The arena also operates with a zero-carbon goal for Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions. Because it uses no natural gas, it has zero Scope 1 emissions, and it has zero Scope 2 emissions because electricity is provided by Seattle City Light, the first carbon-neutral utility in the United States.  To address Scope 3 carbon emissions, fans are surveyed about their mode of transportation, and all fans can use the light rail-monorail connection for all events at no cost. In addition, with the help of Amazon, Climate Pledge’s sustainability team tracks the embodied carbon of everything that is sold at the arena. This involves digging into the embodied carbon of the supply chain for items ranging from beer to tee shirts. Once the Scope 3 emissions have been tabulated, carbon offsets are purchased annually.