In Seattle, the Climate Pledge Arena—known as the world’s most sustainable arena—just got even more sustainable thanks to a partnership with plant-based company Impossible Foods. On the upper concourse of the arena, Impossible Foods has set up a test kitchen where it is developing new menu items.
The arena is home to NHL team Seattle Kraken, WNBA team Seattle Storm, and an event space with a hyper focus on bringing sustainable practices to the sporting industry. When it comes to food practices, the Climate Pledge Arena does serve animal products but aims to source its food ingredients locally to lessen its environmental impact.
Climate Pledge Arena
Its partnership with Impossible Foods helps to give sports lovers a meat option with a much smaller environmental footprint than animal-derived meat.
At the arena, Impossible Foods just opened two concession stands (in sections 11 and 12) that operate as the Impossible Market where meatless fare abounds. On the menu, guests will find vegetarian options such as two different Impossible Cheeseburgers, Impossible Beef Chili Curly Fries, Impossible Korean BBQ Beef Bowl, and Impossible Meatball Sub.
One vegan option is Impossible Chicken Nuggets, which are served with fries and barbecue sauce. The Impossible Cheeseburger is also now the official burger of the Climate Change Arena.
“The arena is totally state of the art,” Peter McGuinness, Impossible Foods CEO, posted on LinkedIn. “From its incredible design and food offerings to the fact that it’s the first net zero certified arena in the world. Our partnership with Climate Pledge Arena is a great example of how we can work together to infuse sustainable practices into more industries. [I] really hope to see more of this.”
Climate Pledge Arena gets more sustainable with Impossible Foods
The Climate Pledge Arena is the first sports arena in the world to gain a net zero carbon certification by International Living Future Institute. Designed by architecture firm Populous, the 740,000-square-foot arena was built to align with The Climate Pledge, an initiative that commits the world’s top companies to attain net zero carbon by 2040.
The facility was originally built for the 1962 World Fair and was refurbished and redesigned with the aim of setting the precedent for sustainability within the sporting arena space.
Climate Pledge Arena
What’s so special about the Climate Pledge Arena? The arena preserves elements from its past—such as a roof designed by Paul Thiry and 67 carbon-capturing London Plane trees—while incorporating new features, including a 200-foot living wall filled with plants, an atrium roof with solar panels that help power the stadium (which runs exclusively on renewable energy), and making ice for NHL games with rainwater sourced from its roof.
The all-electric arena was built with accessibility as a main design feature and helps guests make more environmentally friendly transportation choices with a unique feature that makes all Seattle Kraken and Storm tickets into free public transit passes on event day.
The Climate Pledge Arena approaches food with a sustainable lens, as well. To lower emissions, 75 percent of food ingredients are sourced within a 300-mile radius of Seattle. The arena will compost, recycle, remove single-use plastics by 2024, and is working with local nonprofits to reduce food waste.
The Climate Pledge Arena’s new partnership with Impossible Foods fits well with its sustainable approach. That’s because giving consumers Impossible Foods’ plant-based meats as an option to traditional animal-derived meats comes with a big climate advantage. When it comes to Impossible Beef, the plant-based meat uses 69-percent less water, 95-percent less land, and produces 88-percent fewer greenhouse gasses than traditional animal-derived beef.
Sports arenas embrace vegan options
Food at sports stadiums and arenas has traditionally leaned heavily on animal products with hot dogs and hamburgers at every concession stand. However, plant-based companies like Impossible Foods have reimagined these items, showing that animal meat is not necessary to have these meaty meals. And Impossible Foods is not the only company working to make concessions more sustainable.
This month, Minnesota Timberwolves fans got a vegan concession at the NBA team’s home arena, the Target Center in Minneapolis. Vegan food company Wicked Kitchen tasked co-founder and chef Chad Sarno with creating a craveable concession menu and he delivered with items such as Grilled Chorizo Brats, Jalapeño Gouda Burgers, and Meatball Subs.
Basketball fans will also find Wicked Kitchen’s ice cream novelties at Target Center in three varieties: Berry White Stick, Chocolate & Almond Stick, and Chocolate & Red Berry Cone—all made with a lupini bean-based vegan ice cream.
“Wicked Kitchen is a wonderful addition to our concession lineup at Target Center, providing delicious and approachable plant-based options for our fans,” Ryan Tanke, Chief Operating Officer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, said in a statement. “A gourmet and chef-driven offering, there is something for everyone from Wicked’s sandwiches to ice cream. We are so excited to introduce Wicked Kitchen to Timberwolves fans this season.”