Chicago's McCormick Place Will Use 100 Percent Wind Energy

May 6, 2013

With the WINDPOWER 2013 Conference and Exhibition at Chicago’s McCormick Place this week, it was perfect timing to announce the venue has committed to obtaining 100 percent of its electricity from wind power.

“We are committed to having renewable energy as part of our comprehensive efforts to implement environmentally-friendly, sustainable practices,” said David Causton, general manager of McCormick Place.


He added, “Purchasing wind power helps our organization become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing carbon emission with green power.”

McCormick Place has purchased Green-e Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated from wind power to match 100 percent of the annual electricity demand.

In total, McCormick Place will purchase an estimated 130 million kilowatt-hours of wind power each year during the course of a new three-year REC purchase program provided by Sterling Planet.

The RECs will guarantee that an equal amount of renewable energy is delivered to the electric grid and will provide carbon avoidance of an estimated 730,931,248 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

The American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER event also has worked with McCormick to offset all events related to the show with RECs.

In fact, for the second year in a row, WINDPOWER is WindMade - a new consumer label that identifies organizations, products, services, and events that are powered by wind energy specifically.

At WINDPOWER 2013, AWEA also is launching a Green Exhibitor Challenge for WINDPOWER 2014, as well as greening its show booth and taking countless other steps to ensure a sustainable event.

“Congratulations to McCormick Place for embracing clean, affordable renewable energy,” said AWEA Interim CEO Rob Gramlich.

He added, “WINDPOWER 2013 highlights what an amazing product our industry produces, so it’s appropriate that wind energy will be powering every light bulb, every dynamic booth exhibit, and every Power Point slide at this amazing event. It’s clear that McCormick understands the many benefits of wind energy, which makes us all the more excited to gather at this world-class facility.”

Committing to 100 percent wind power is just the latest in a string of sustainability efforts by McCormick.

The venue recently became the largest convention center in North America to be certified with a new international sustainability standard.

This certification was introduced in 2012 to promote responsible environmental and social practices in the event industry.

McCormick Place achieved Level One Certification with the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences.

“This is a great honor for McCormick Place and we are proud to receive the ASTM Standard-Level One certification during the Green Meeting Industry Council 2013 Global Conference,” Causton said.

The venue’s West Building also has attained LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Build Council.

The West Building is the largest new-construction facility in the country to be certified.

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