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Climate Pledge Arena Meets World’s Largest Zero-Waste Event

By Hannah Taheri/Brianna Treat

Climate Pledge Arena and Seattle Kraken Director of Sustainability, Brianna Treat, represented the arena at the 2023 WM Phoenix Open.

Climate Pledge Arena & Seattle Kraken Director of Sustainability “B” Treat poses at WM Phoenix Open.

For eight ten consecutive years, the WMPO has been certified recognized as the largest zero-waste sporting event in the world. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Arizona to be part of the seven-day PGA TOUR tournament festivities. All the while, WM leads operational efforts to ensure that 100% of the event’s waste is diverted from landfills through recycling, composting, donations, storage for reuse, and creating fuel.

Climate Pledge Arena & the Seattle Kraken’s very own Director of Sustainability, Brianna “B” Treat, had the pleasure of attending the WMPO to speak on the unprecedented sustainability efforts of both the arena and the Kraken at a panel focused on sustainability in sports. She reflected on her “rookie year” at the desert’s greenest event upon her return to the Rainy City.

“It was really amazing watching the behind-the-scenes work that makes this zero-waste event possible,” B remarked. “With over 600,000hundreds of thousands of  people attending this event annually, managing such large volumes of material is no easy feat. WM is committed to excellence, and it shows.” B went on to share three key takeaways from the event:

  1. FAN EDUCATION + ENGAGEMENT: Have fun with it! Commit to creating fun and easy ways to teach your audience how to recycle/compost correctly is a great way to strengthen your zero-waste program. Educating fans about what it means to be zero-waste/what items go where is key to the success of any sustainability program.
  2. ON-SITE SORTING: Sorting waste materials on site assists majorly in minimizing contamination and ensuring each and every material is diverted to the correct waste stream.
  3. REPORTING FINDINGS: Tracking and reporting important trends, statistics, and lessons learned pre-, during, and post-event is essential to continuous improvement and eventually becoming a 100% zero-waste venue.

With the help of our partners at WM, intentional vendor procurement, educational signage, employee trainings, right-sized bins, contamination monitoring,  and on-site sorting are just a few of the sustainability practices already in place at Climate Pledge Arena. With additional practices on the horizon—such as eliminating all plastic from the venue by 2024—the grass is even “greener” on the other side!

B sits on the Sustainability & Sports Panel at the WM Phoenix Open
B learns about the operations of the WM Phoenix Open on a behind-the-scenes tour
Excited to be the very first arena invited to the WM Phoenix Open!

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