Tracking Convention Center Sustainability

Some notable trends emerged in the recently released 2015 Green Venue Report, which tracks convention center sustainability at 30 facilities worldwide. Researchers found that 93 percent are accessible by public transportation, 90 percent have either achieved or are working toward official certification such as LEED, and 72 percent can provide event planners with specific waste diversion reports for their events.

The annual report is a joint project of Greenview, a Washington, D.C.-based sustainability consulting firm, and Twirl Management, an Oakland, California-based, ecologically conscious event planning company. Their goal is to increase awareness and spur an improvement in sustainability among exhibit and convention center facilities by spotlighting best practices and innovative programs. Here are some highlights. The complete 2015 Green Venue Report can be downloaded for free at greenvenuereport.com.

33% Have Green Roofs

Green roofs reduce energy use, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The 7-acre green roof atop the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City is a natural wildlife habitat that reduces water runoff and heat gain, lowering the facility’s annual energy consumption by 26 percent.

77% Make Going Green a Team Effort

enercare-centre-torontoMore than three-quarters have an employee green team; 70 percent have a dedicated sustainability coordinator or manager; At Enercare Centre in Toronto, teams compete in friendly challenges such as who can recycle the most batteries and reduce the most paper.

80% Donate Excess Food to Local Charities

sands-expo-convention-center-las-vegasOver the past year, Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas has donated more than 40,000 meals to Meals on Wheels, Catholic Charities and the Shade Tree, a domestic abuse shelter for women and children.

97% Use Green Cleaning Products

david-l-lawrence-convention-center-pittsburghTraditional cleaning products can harm humans and the environment. The David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh has not purchased glass cleaner in more than four years. The center produces its own cleaning solution onsite with tap water, water softeners and a small electrical current, and uses it on windows, hard surfaces and carpets.

83% Sort Recyclable Waste Materials

moscone-center-san-franciscoMoscone Center in San Francisco has clearly labeled color-coded bins for composting, recycling and landfill in all public lobby spaces. It is one of just a few centers around the world to offer front-of-house composting.

7% Keep Bees

Music-City-Center-NashvilleMusic City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, houses more than 100,000 honeybees in four hives on its green roof. Beekeeping is a growing trend: Three other convention centers report that they intend to install beehives in the coming year.

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