USGBC's Greenbuild Earns Meetings Award

Washington, DC, June 19, 2006--The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been awarded the gold level of the Environmentally Responsible Meetings Award at IMEX for the USGBC's Greenbuild 2004 convention. The IMEX award recognizes organizations that minimize environmental impact through efficient practices, green purchasing, and commitment to conservation in the planning of travel, meetings and events. The accolade was presented by the International Hotels Environment Initiative (IHEI) and the Green Meeting Industry Council in Frankfurt, Germany. "Receiving this award is truly an honor," said Kimberly Lewis, director of conference & events, U.S. Green Building Council. "USGBC's mission of market transformation to green building permeates everything we do, especially hosting our annual Greenbuild conference. We are excited to be our recognized for our efforts, but more importantly, we hope that Greenbuild's success will inspire other conferences to go green as well." USGBC is advancing green building through education and outreach, and Greenbuild is an important opportunity for the Council to further its mission in the conference's host cities. In addition to offering hundreds of green building presentations and tours, Greenbuild spreads best practices for green meeting strategies to both local businesses and the more than 10,000 people that attend the conference. With the assistance of Meeting Strategies Worldwide, a conference management firm based in Portland, Oregon, USGBC focused on five key areas in their greening strategy for Greenbuild 2004: energy, air quality, water usage, solid waste, and toxic materials. The judging process for the award included an evaluation by an independent environmental auditor who assessed environmental criteria and practices. Some of the practices included: - Approximately 500 gallons of drinking water saved by not pre-filling water glasses at sit down luncheons - 56% of delegates staying at host hotels used the towel and sheet reuse programs on a daily basis - Greenbuild 2004 diverted nearly 50% of solid waste (20,040 lbs.) from landfills to recycling facilities - 3.82 tons of food waste collected by the Oregon Convention Center for composting - Greenbuild reused carpet and signage from the 2003 conference - Left over office supplies donated to Roosevelt High School - Left over food (3450 lbs.) donated to Blanche House, a local community service organization - Local and organic produce used to minimize transportation impacts and to support the local economy - Hotels within walking distance selected to reduce unnecessary transportation - Comprehensive recycling and emission offset programs implemented for all conference-related activities. In addition to receiving this prestigious accolade at the IMEX exhibition, Greenbuild was a catalyst for change within the city of Portland, the site of Greenbuild 2004. The Doubletree Hotel, the conference headquarters hotel, developed and implemented an Earth Care rooms initiative in response to Greenbuild 2004 and also institutionalized a Green Team to explore innovative ways for the hotel to become more 'green' friendly on an ongoing basis. As a result of guest feedback and participation in environmental programs, the Embassy Suites is in the process of formalizing some of the new programs started for Greenbuild 2004. This includes participation in the "Fork It Over" food donation program, using more bulk products, and providing in-suite recycling.

Related Topics:Greenbuild International Conference and Expo