Eco-friendly convention venues around the world

 Saturday, October 30, 2021 


Today, sustainability stands at the forefront of the MICE industry. Major convention centres and meeting venues across the globe have increasingly become environmentally conscious and have started to work towards establishing a green MICE venue. Read on to take a look at some of the most eco-friendly convention venues around the world-

Vancouver Convention Centre

British Columbia’s Vancouver Convention Centre is the world’s very first double LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certified convention centre. The venue stands at the forefront of green operations with its 6-acre living roof that features more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses, four beehives with European honey bees that help in pollination, and a unique heating and cooling powered by seawater. The West Building also consists of a restored marine habitat that has improved the water quality of the area and helped in the growth of a large variety of sea life. The convention centre also uses local BC wood products from sustainably-managed forests and maximized natural light and ventilation throughout the facility. It also runs an extensive facility-wide recycling program that includes organics and operates a ‘scratch’ kitchen using primarily fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. 

Colorado Convention Centre

USA’s 12th biggest convention facility, the Colorado Convention Centre aims to turn every meeting into a ‘green meeting’ by organising every event in a sustainable manner. The venue is considered to be the first to meet the certification requirements of the ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows and Conferences. The centre works towards energy conservation through preventative maintenance, mindful scheduling, equipment retrofits and upgrades. It also works for water consumption and to protect water quality by using methods like chemical management, water-efficient landscaping and irrigation, and building infrastructure (toilets, urinals, sinks, showers) efficiencies. The centre also has a comprehensive waste management program focusing on identifying, reducing, and diverting the various waste streams created by venue operations, attendees, and clients. The convention centre also implements and participates in programs that extend beyond its walls and contribute to the overall benefit of the city of Denver.

Oregon Convention Centre Portland

The Oregon Convention Centre has been paving the way for green building and other environmentally responsible business practices since years. In 2014, it became the first-ever center to achieve APEX/ASTM Level 4 certification and remains the only such centre in the country. The centre contains one of the largest solar arrays on a convention center in the U.S., a rain garden that helps stormwater management, energy-efficient air handlers, four charging stations for electric vehicles, water- efficient bathroom fixtures, an extensive waste-diversion program as well as a sustainable purchasing program that targets environmental inefficiencies in its supply chain. It works towards energy reduction, waste diversion, maintaining great indoor air quality, prioritising watershed stewardship and expanding community engagement with the help of these facilities.

San Diego Convention Centre

Working towards creating an eco-friendly workspace since it’s opening in 1989, the San Diego Convention Centre is considered to be one of the firsts in the country to launch a recycling program, in the early 1990s. The centre currently has an extensive recycling and composting program with 4-stream waste receptacles divided into paper, recyclables, trash and compost. The entire facility uses LED light fixtures to lower electricity usage and some additional efficiencies including low flow automatic sinks and toilets, drip irrigation for outdoor landscaping and energy-efficient dishwashers. The team at SDCC also actively takes part in material and food donations as well as volunteerism.

Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre

Singapore’s Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre actively contribute to conserve the environment. The iconic pyramid-shaped glass roof of the centre collects rainwater that helps irrigate nearly 900 trees around Suntec City. It has installed electricity and water-saving systems that smartly regulates supply during busy time periods. The centre have also adopted the 3Rs (reduce, re-use, recycle) approach, to breathe new life to aluminum, cardboard, glass, paper and plastic. It also recycles nearly 2,100 gallons (7,949 litres) of cooking oil into the bio-diesel every year and constantly works towards reducing carbon footprint.

Austin Convention Centre

The LEED Gold certified Austin Convention Center has been working over the years to reduce its impact on the environment through various initiatives and practices. The venue is powered by 100 percent renewable energy from Austin Energy’s Green Choice Program and 50 percent of all waste generated is diverted from landfills through extensive recycling, reuse, and composting programs. The smoke-free facility is cleaned with Green Seal certified products to limit harmful volatile organic compound (VOC) particulates in the air. A dedicated Green Team Committee from the centre also works with the Austin Climate Protection Program to conceive and implement a groundbreaking Departmental Climate Protection Plan.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

The renowned Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is recognised for achieving a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The venue comes with solar hot water systems that can offset more than 40 percent of general hot water requirements and can provide 100 percent of public amenity hot water requirements. It has a blackwater treatment plant that collects and treats wastewater for toilet flushing, irrigation and cooling purposes. The centre has an effective ventilation displacement method that allows low level air delivery and high level air exhaust in the plenary hall and foyer areas providing effective air flow with high indoor air quality at low energy consumption. It also works for electricity consumption by using natural light. The centre also sources locally produced food and wine to reduce carbon emission from transportation.

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