Amazon to Name Seattle NHL Arena the ‘Climate Pledge Arena’

As part of CEO Bezos’ $2 billion initial climate change initiative

As part of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ commitment to climate change, Seattle’s new NHL arena will be named Climate Pledge Arena. The arena, which was formerly called Key Arena, is underdoing a major renovation, and Amazon secured the naming rights to the revamped building. Located in downtown Seattle, the 18,100-seat arena will become the home to the NHL’s newest team, which has yet to be named and to the Seattle Storm, the city’s WNBA team.

According to Amazon, Climate Pledge Arena will be the world’s first net zero carbon-certified arena, and it will be powered with 100% renewable energy and generate zero waste from operations and events. For hockey games, the arena will use reclaimed rainwater to create surface ice.

“Instead of naming it after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change,” said Bezos.

Amazon secured the naming rights to the new 'Climate Pledge Arena.'
Amazon secured the naming rights to the new ‘Climate Pledge Arena.’ Image courtesy of Amazon.

Company’s Climate Pledge

As part of Amazon’s climate pledge, the company has committed to be net zero carbon by 2040. The company is starting its climate pledge with $2 billion in initial funding. That money will be used to support companies whose products and services will help advance the transition to a zero carbon economy.

“The Climate Pledge Fund will look to invest in the visionary entrepreneurs and innovators who are building products and services to help companies reduce their carbon impact and operate more sustainably,” said Bezos in a June 23 news release. “Companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises. Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.”

Electric Delivery Vehicles

Last September, as part of the climate change pledge, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from an electric vehicle start-up, Rivian.

“Amazon has demonstrated its leadership in adopting low carbon technologies at scale,” said Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe. “Their investment in Rivian and subsequent order of 100,000 electric delivery vans will substantially shrink the carbon footprint of Amazon’s package delivery network. We’re excited about a future of decarbonized delivery services.”

Climate Change Initiatives

Other initiatives Amazon is working on include the following:

  • Five years ahead of schedule, Amazon plans to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025.
  • So far, Amazon has announced 91 renewal energy projects around the world, including 31 utility-scale wind and solar projects and 60 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe.
  • Amazon has made several investments from its $100 million Right Now Climate Fund in nature-based and reforestation projects.
  • Since 2015, Amazon has reduced the weight of outbound packaging by 33% and eliminated more than 880,000 tons of packaging material, the equivalent of 1.5 billion shipping boxes. Part of this includes offering Amazon Prime members an Amazon Day, where they can have all of their pending orders shipped on the same day to reduce packaging.

Insider Take:

I don’t think anyone is surprised that Bezos is front and center on the climate change bandwagon. What is interesting, however, is that Amazon took the opportunity to draw attention to the issue by naming a multipurpose arena after it. Bezos could easily have named it the Amazon Arena, as many were speculating. To be fair, Amazon doesn’t need any more publicity, especially during the pandemic when so many of us are maximizing our Amazon Prime memberships by ordering basic food and household supplies and watching Prime Video regularly. Whether you love or hate Amazon, this is a good move for the company and for climate change.