Greenbuild Releases 2015 Sustainability Report


Overall waste diversion rate of 84 percent and 70 percent regional food sourcing among highlights for hometown event in Washington, D.C., at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Washington, D.C. – April 11, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — USGBC and Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction and Real Estate have released the 2015 Greenbuild Sustainability Report, highlighting valuable metrics and key benchmarks regarding the impact on energy use and waste management at the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held last fall at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

The comprehensive report details the sustainability programs implemented in 2015 through a review of all objectives, goals and best practices. Case studies provide detailed overviews of sustainability strategies and initiatives including attendee and stakeholder engagement, attendee wellness, waste diversion calculation and more. The report can be accessed online at

“Sustainability is the heart and soul of Greenbuild, and we are committed to leading the industry in environmentally responsible management in the planning, operations and execution of Greenbuild,” stated Lindsay Roberts, Greenbuild show director, Informa. “With the release of this report, we celebrate our victories and look forward to opportunities to make an even greater impact at Greenbuild 2016.”

“The Greenbuild Sustainability Report showcases the hard work and dedication we bring to our efforts to reduce waste and energy use, address our carbon footprint and engage our many stakeholders leading up to and during Greenbuild,” said Kate Hurst, vice president, community advancement, conferences and events for USGBC. “As we hosted Greenbuild for the first time ever in our hometown, Washington, D.C., we were proud to leave a legacy of collective accomplishment behind. Greenbuild is a time for our entire community and industry to come together around our ideals, to demonstrate our commitment to the cause of green building for all within this generation, and to inspire others to acknowledge that even small changes in behavior can have a significant and meaningful impact when undertaken collaboratively.”

“It was such an honor to host Greenbuild 2015 in USGBC’s hometown at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and to partner with them on taking their robust sustainability efforts even higher,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC, which owns and operates the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. “Events DC sustains a strong commitment to sustainability efforts, and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center remains at the forefront of implementing environmentally friendly initiatives to help reduce our carbon footprint. We applaud Greenbuild on their continued steps in making a greater impact on the health and wellbeing of our environment for years to come.”

The report shares the progress of seven sustainability objectives at Greenbuild, including the following highlights:

  • Waste management: Informa Exhibitions, USGBC, Aramark, Centerplate/NBSE, Freeman and local haulers worked together to optimize waste management strategies, resulting in an overall 84 percent diversion rate. This was a 52 percent increase over the convention center’s baseline diversion rate. These efforts included recycling and composting in kitchen areas, adding additional waste streams and upgrading recycling/compost stations with improved signage in public areas,
  • Stakeholder engagement: New in 2015 was an interactive greening wall that allowed attendees to learn more about specific sustainability initiatives. The display was an LCD, Energy Star-certified touchscreen located next to a miniature green wall. The Greenbuild team engages its vendors in a three-phase sustainability planning process in the year leading up to the show to set and meet conference sustainability goals.
  • Sustainable sourcing: Thanks to the efforts of the Centerplate Team at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 33 percent of the food served at the convention center was sourced locally (within 100 miles) and 70 percent of the food was sourced regionally (within 500 miles).
  • Performance tracking: USGBC and Informa collected post-show sustainability reports from vendors and partners and improved information collection in attendee registration to more accurately calculate our carbon footprint.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions: For the second year, Greenbuild showcased the “Net Zero Zone”—a 3,200-square-foot pavilion powered by solar panels, installed on-site at the Washington Convention Center. In partnership with TerraPass, the following projects were supported by Greenbuild’s carbon offset purchase: New Beulah Landfill (Dorchester County, Md.) and The Big Smile Wind Farm at Dempsey Ridge (Roger Mills and Beckham Counties, Okla..
  • Community impact: The 2015 Greenbuild Legacy Project, led by USGBC National Capital Region and the Greenbuild Host Committee, was an Urban Food Studio at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB). The CAFB provides food assistance to one out of every 12 individuals living in Virginia, Maryland and D.C., distributing 42 million pounds of food per year. The multi-purpose studio will provide an all-season space for cooking, gardening and workshops. The structure uses recycled materials and features a water collection system and solar harvesting.
  • Hospitality industry: This year, Greenbuild hosted a “Greenbuild Behind the Scenes: Sustainable Event Tour” to showcase the show’s sustainability efforts to hospitality professionals. The 34 attendees included representatives from hotels, national associations, and international conference organizers. Attendees toured a variety of show areas, including the back dock sorting area and convention center control rooms. Additionally, 68 percent of the hotels in the Greenbuild room block were GreenLeader-certified by TripAdvisor.

Greenbuild, owned and operated by Informa and presented by USGBC, is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. The three-day conference attracts 20,000+ attendees and 600 exhibitors annually from across the green building sector, spanning commercial and residential professionals, architects, building owners and operators, students, advocates and educators. This year’s conference takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, Calif., from Oct. 5–7, 2016.

Leticia McCadden
Media Relations Manager
USGBC staff

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