San Diego Convention Center Earns Waste Reduction Award

Walk through the San Diego Convention Center’s main kitchen and you will notice something: there are no garbage disposals. That’s because there is no food waste to put down the drain. Leftover food from events is either composted or donated to those in need. Take a walk through the back loading docks and you will find three cardboard balers, all used to recycle 100 percent of the cardboard that comes through the building..

As sustainability leaders in the conventions and meetings industry, our facilities, operations and in-house food and beverage teams have day-to-day processes that ensure we take every effort to reduce our waste. 

That is why the Port of San Diego recognized the San Diego Convention Center with the 2016 Waste Reduction Award, one of seven waterfront businesses to be recognized.

"Our Green Business Network members are champions of sustainability and we recently honored the seven who went above and beyond this year to increase energy efficiency, reduce water usage, decrease waste, and improve the air quality around the San Diego Bay," Jason H. Giffen, Assistant Vice President at the Port of San Diego said. "The San Diego Convention Center was impressive in its efforts to focus on waste reduction."

The honor was earned in part by the facility breaking a recycling record of 3,162 tons of materials. SDCCC diverted 79 percent of waste in 2016, making it the highest level yet that the convention center has achieved in sustainability efforts.

"We are sustainability leaders not because it’s what we are required to do, but because it is the right thing to do," said Karen Totaro, Executive Vice President and General Manager. "Minimizing the impact of large events on the environment is something we believe strongly in and we are honored the Port of San Diego recognizes our efforts."

As part of our green meetings practices, the convention center donates untouched leftover food from the events to the San Diego Rescue Mission. In 2016, we provided enough meals to feed 235,000 San Diegans in need.

Here are some other key sustainability practices in place:.

  • 100 percent of all cardboard that enters the building is recycled through three onsite cardboard balers.
  • Exhibit Halls A through H are much brighter thanks to the installation of LED lights, which use less electricity and save money.
  • In an effort to be water-wise, the San Diego Convention Center saved 8,198 gallons of water using Energy Star efficient dishwashers.

Currently a LEED Silver Certified building, the convention center has applied for LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Remaining energy efficient and keeping the environment clean for our surrounding neighbors is important to the success of the convention center. Learn more about our efforts of maintaining an eco-friendly building in our Green Meetings brochure.

Posted by Stephanie Mira, on February 14, 2017
Meeting Planners, News and Developments

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