Los Angeles Convention Center Breaks Waste Diversion Record for 2016 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo 

March 15, 2017

The Los Angeles Convention Center recently reported its achievement of a record-breaking 90.3 percent waste diversion rate for the 2016 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, held Oct. 5-7.

This marks a historic accomplishment for both the show and the LACC, which partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council and Informa Exhibitions to divert Greenbuild’s recyclables and composting out of the facility’s waste stream.

“As the first large convention center in the U.S. to receive LEED EB-Gold recertification in 2015, the LACC is incredibly proud of what our teams were able to accomplish for the 2016 Greenbuild convention,” said Brad Gessner, LACC senior vice president and general manager. 

He added, “Diverting 90.3 percent from the waste stream is a new record – we are honored to be a part of the Greenbuild International history.”

As the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to sustainable building, Greenbuild and its Waste Team had originally set a waste diversion goal of 85 percent for the three-day event, which drew more than 18,000 green building professionals.

Striving to hit that high bar, the LACC team worked with the USGBC, Informa Exhibitions, Greenview and partners to fine-tune the existing sustainable practices employed at the convention center, which already boasted a 72 percent average diversion rate.

Creative strategies included converting 200 waste bins to compost bins, signage on restroom paper towel dispensers encouraging compost only, and a collaboration with LACC partners ABM, Levy Restaurants, Waste Management and Los Angeles Job Corps to efficiently divert all waste and recyclable materials.

All items donated after the conference via the Greenbuild Exhibitor Donation Program were distributed to local non-profits including Trash 4 Teaching (T4T), Habitat for Humanity and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M).

In addition, the LACC established a custom process that converted the back of house dock area into a hand-sorting station to ensure a clean stream of recyclables.

“It was amazing to see the LACC and all of our partners come together as one cohesive team with one common goal around waste diversion at Greenbuild,” said Lindsay Roberts, group director for Informa Exhibitions.

She continued, “I watched as each partner and each individual became more motivated and more committed to the cause and it was truly inspiring – everyone walked away with a sense of pride and purpose.” 

With L.A.’s growing reputation as one of several major U.S. cities leading the way in sustainability, it’s no surprise that the LACC was a great choice for Greenbuild, known for its scrupulous site selection process that requires a host city and venue to not only possess strong environmental practices but also a willingness to take the show’s green objectives to the next level.

“(Los Angeles) was ranked as the fourth major city in the United States for LEED-certified projects in 2016 and is part of the LEED 100 Million (square feet) Club, which made it an ideal location to host the 15th annual Greenbuild,” said Kate Hurst, USGBC vice president of community advancement, conference and events.

She added, “By working closely with the Los Angeles Convention Center, we were able to set a record high (diversion rate) for Greenbuild. This historical rate demonstrates our commitment to the cause of green building and we hope it will inspire others to acknowledge that even small changes in behavior can have a significant and meaningful impact when undertaken collaboratively.” 

The 2017 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is set to take place Nov. 8-10 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

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