Approximately 27 percent of convention centers say meeting planners are asking for sustainability initiatives, up from 20 percent last year but still a substantial minority, finds the second annual "Green Venue Report" (GVR), published last month by Washington, DC-based sustainability consulting firm Greenview and Oakland, CA-based event planning company Twirl Management.
An in-depth survey of 30 convention centers from around the world, the GVR consists of 158 questions designed to highlight the progress of sustainability in the meetings and events industry. Although planners are still catching on, venues are ready for their green meeting requests, the survey suggests.
Key findings from this year's report are:
• Seventy percent of convention centers have a dedicated sustainability manager or coordinator on staff.
• Seventy-seven percent of convention centers have a "green team" with an average of 11 cross-departmental members engaged in sustainability programs and employee engagement.
• Eighty-five percent of convention centers participate in sustainability programs led by their local governments.
• Ninety-three percent of convention centers are accessible by public train, light rail, subway/metro system.
• Eighty percent of convention centers have year-round food donation programs for local charities; 630 metric tons of food was donated by survey participants in 2014.
• Ninety percent of convention centers have achieved or are working towards green building certifications such as LEED.
• Eighty-six percent of convention centers have trained sales and operational staff to be versed in sustainable operations, ready for when a planner or show management asks for sustainability.
• Thirty-three percent of convention centers have green roofs. These include innovations such as beekeeping and producing food onsite.
• Eighty-seven percent of convention centers have secure bike parking for employees and two-thirds have electric vehicle charging stations promoting alternative transportation.
• Fifty-two percent is the average waste diversion ratio at convention centers. Carpet and construction debris have lower recycling rates.
• Forty-two percent of convention centers are producing renewable energy onsite, most commonly solar; 59 percent are procuring renewable energy offsite, most commonly wind.
• Seventy-six percent of cleaning products used in convention centers are third party-certified green cleaning products.
• Seventy-two percent of convention centers can track event-specific waste, 48 percent event-specific energy usage, and 34 percent event-specific water consumption.
For more information, download the "2015 Green Venue Report" in its entirety from www.GreenVenueReport.com.
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