The Greening of Meetings—Event Venues Get Sustainable

March 16, 2012

Newsbrief from Environmental Building News

According to consulting firm evolveEA, planners of conventions, trade shows, and other large meetings increasingly demand greener facilities, whose share of the market has increased 4.5% per year since 2004. In 2010, there were 19 LEED-certified convention centers across the country—up from 11 in 2009—and many more pursuing certification.

With this in mind, evolveEA, the Heinz Endowments, and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh conducted a survey of convention centers to better understand how they are addressing the demand for greener venues. Looking at convention centers’ business models, “Event Venue Benchmarking” identifies key market drivers and industry best practices (such as energy benchmarking, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, and sustainable purchasing), as well as opportunities for improvement.

For example, the waste stream at convention centers can be particularly large, and while all facilities surveyed claimed to recycle to some extent, waste varied by facility from under two to more than eight pounds per visitor. While a given facility recycled a higher percentage of its waste, another produced less waste per visitor to begin with by choices made in purchasing. To learn more, visit

By Erin Weaver, March 1, 2012

Evolve EA