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In February, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, pledged $ 10 billion to fight climate change. Now he is putting the climate fight in the spotlight, after Amazon acquired the naming rights for a new sports stadium in Seattle and announced that it will be called "Climate Pledge Arena."
"Rather than naming it after Amazon, we call it the Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change," said Bezos. The name reflects a 2019 initiative, launched by Amazon and Global Optimism, calling on its signatories to become net zero deals by 2040.
Among those who pledged is Oak View Group, a Los Angeles-based firm that develops and invests in sports and entertainment venues. The company is a partner in the new arena, which will become the home of the Seattle National Hockey League team and the WNBA Seattle Storm.
"There is no question that the state of our planet is a critical issue for all of us," said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “Our goal is to be the most progressive, responsible and sustainable place in the world. It is not just an arena, it is a platform for us to move forward and heal our planet. "
To that end, the Climate Pledge Arena is expected to be the world's first zero-emission certified arena, as determined by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). To achieve the carbon-free goal, it will be powered entirely by electricity from renewable sources with solar panels on site and external suppliers. Any carbon emissions generated by arena operations beyond that will be offset through forest credit programs at The Nature Conservancy and similar organizations, with all data available to the public.
Sand is also committed to diverting at least 95 percent of its waste from landfills, using compostable food containers and other techniques. At least 75 percent of the food in the Climate Pledge Arena will be sourced locally in an effort to support local growers, with excess food donated to Seattle food programs whenever possible.
Amazon says the site's rainwater recovery systems will ensure the Seattle hockey team plays on "the greenest ice in the NHL." The Climate Pledge Arena will also reclaim the original roof from an existing arena, so that some 20 million kilograms of material can be recycled and thus reduced carbon impacts.
Bezos and his partners have negotiated a few other arena-related plans in Seattle, where Amazon is located, but it often has a contentious relationship with the wider community, as was the case with a proposed employee tax in 2018. For example , tickets to NHL and WNBA games will serve as free transit passes in the progressive city of the United States, in order to promote the use of public transportation when fans arrive at the arena.
The 18,100-capacity arena is expected to host 200 such events each year, including sports teams, live music and entertainment, and local community associations.
"The Climate Pledge Arena will set a new standard for sustainability for sports and event spaces around the world," says Jason F. McLennan, the founder of ILFI. “The group's innovative approach and sustainability mindset, embodied in naming the arena after The Climate Pledge, will provide a world-class green space for events in downtown Seattle for the region to enjoy for years to come. ”.