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.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
HERE, hosting responsible meetings and caring for our communities are top priorities. Through its 'Focused on What Matters: Embracing Humanity and Protecting the Planet' philosophy, MGM Resorts commits to creating a more sustainable future, while striving to make an impact in the lives of employees, guests, and the communities in which it operates. Water Stewardship Efforts MGM Resorts understands the importance of using water efficiently, especially in the desert destination of Las Vegas. Conserving water has always been part of the mission, but MGM Resorts has expanded its ambition into water stewardship. In 2022, MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle signed the CEO Water Mandate—a UN Global Compact initiative mobilizing business leaders to advance water stewardship. MGM Resorts International was the first gaming company to take this important step. MGM Resorts replaced 200,000 square feet of real grass with drought-tolerant landscaping in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts pledges to reduce water withdrawal intensity by 33% by 2025 and by 35% by 2030. From 2007-2021, use of more than 5.6 billion gallons of water was avoided because of conservation efforts. Caring for One Another MGM Resorts’ Food Donations Program collects and preserves unserved food from conventions held at MGM Resorts properties, then safely donates to food insecure people in the community. Since the program’s launch in 2016, more than 3.7 million meals toward a 2025 goal of 5 million meals have been donated into the community. Donations include: Unserved perishable prepared foods from events Perishable unprepared food from MGM Resorts’ kitchens Nonperishable food items from minibars and warehouses The collaboration with Southern Nevada’s primary food bank, Three Square, has developed the infrastructure needed to safely collect, transport, and store food from MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas, reducing food waste while serving the community. Fostering Diversity and Inclusion To MGM Resorts, a diverse and talented workforce is essential to success. By cultivating innovative strategies that consider multiple perspectives and viewpoints, the company creates an inclusive workplace culture that benefits its employees and community. MGM Resorts takes pride in being a welcoming home for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members, and more. This commitment to inclusion is reflected in the company's recruitment and hiring practices and its social responsibility initiatives. From the workplace to the community, MGM Resorts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains unwavering, and its efforts continue to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all. MGM Resorts understands its responsibility to contribute to the social and economic progress of the communities in which it operates. HERE, we embrace humanity.