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Green Venue Report Highlights State of Convention & Exhibition Sustainability Around the World


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The 2017 Green Venue Report: The State of Convention and Exhibition Center Sustainability is now available. The 4th annual Green Venue Report compiles data from 66 convention and exhibition centers across 16 countries and four continents (a 50 percent increase from 2016).

The report evaluates a collective environmental footprint of industry meeting and events, highlighting best practices and innovative programs.

In its fourth year, the Green Venue Report compares green performance over a wide range of areas, including: energy efficiency, waste management, water usage, food and beverage services, cleaning practices, staff involvement, communications, and certifications. The survey consisted of 131 survey questions and was conducted in the spring of 2017, through the Greenview Portal, a web-based tool to consolidate, track, measure, and obtain actionable guidance on sustainability. All figures are based off 2016 operational data and information.

This year, the report includes three-year trends to many of the practices surveyed in the Green Venue Report ranging from common, emerging and innovative practices. The graphical representation of the trends line will allow readers to quickly understand the trends in a three-year period.

Key Report Findings

The Green Venue Report captures the practices and impacts of conventions and exhibitions on a global scale. Key findings of 2017 include the following:

  • Venues are saving millions of dollars with sustainability upgrades. Venues that invest in energy, water, and/or waste technologies receive returns on their investments ranging from a few hundred dollars by converting street lights to LED bulbs, to millions of dollars of savings by implementing venue wide energy programs.
  • Health and well-being of staff is of growing importance. Sixty-two percent of venues reported to having a health and well-being policy in place that applies to all staff. Policies and programs include health and fitness facilities with free personal trainers to help promote healthy living and exercise, to weekly on-site doctor visits.
  • Venues continues to value sustainable food and remain committed to purchasing from local producers. Eighty-nine percent of venues procure food and beverage products with at least one sustainability-focused certification or accreditation. This trend shows a jump from 85 percent last year.
  • Venues continue to reduce food waste. Seventy-seven percent of venues practice active food waste management (the tracking and monitoring of food production waste, overage and spoilage) using either manual or automated tracking. Over half of venues (56 percent) donate food on a regular basis at no additional expense to event organizers.
  • Venues are procuring more renewable energy and incorporating more renewable energy technologies into on-site operations. Twenty-three percent of venues purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), representing a total of approximately 248 million kWh purchased. Twenty-five percent of venues responded to having at least 50 percent of the venue’s purchased energy obtained from utilities or other parties using renewable sources.

Venues are starting to offer additional resources on sustainable events to organizers. Eighty-three percent of responding venues have sales staff that consistently and proactively make organizers aware of a venue’s sustainability practices or “greening meeting”. In addition, several venues also indicated that they distributed a sustainable meetings pamphlet, manual, or sales kit to meeting organizers.

As the Green Venue Report continues to grow, the project will provide critical analysis, in addition to documenting the tools and best practices to sustain the industry. Returning participants continue to commend GVR as a “very comprehensive report and list of (survey) questions.”

The Green Venue Report is a project started by Greenview. Greenview invites interested convention and exhibition centers to visit the Greenview Portal for more information to sign up for the 2018 survey and report. All participating venues receive a free compare report that provides a quick snapshot of responses, benchmarked among the global data set.