Informa Exhibitions U.S. and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently released the 2016 Greenbuild Sustainability Report, detailing sustainability initiatives implemented for the 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held last October at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“Each year, we celebrate our victories with the release of this report and set the bar a little higher for the next year to continue positively impacting the events industry with environmentally responsible management in the planning, operations, and execution of Greenbuild,” Lindsay Roberts, Greenbuild group director, Informa, said.

Kate Hurst, vice president of community advancement, conference and events, added: “By working closely with the Los Angeles Convention Center, we were able to set a record-high waste-diversion rate for Greenbuild that demonstrates to our entire community and industry how small changes in behavior can have a lasting effect.”

The report shares progress toward seven sustainability objectives:

  • Waste management: Informa Exhibitions, the USGBC, the Los Angeles Convention Center, Greenview, Levy, Freeman, and local haulers worked together to optimize waste-management strategies, which resulted in an overall 90-percent diversion rate. This is 18 percent above the convention center’s baseline diversion rate. These efforts included front-of-house composting, a new back-of-house waste-management process, and new signage instructing attendees on sorting waste.
  • Stakeholder engagement: At Greenbuild 2016, a new summit, WaterBuild, was launched to convene change makers and discuss sustainable water solutions for drought-stricken California. For the first time, Greenbuild purchased water-restoration certificates to balance water use at the convention center. Additionally, by sending a text, attendees made a personal pledge to Change the Course and returned 33,000 gal. of water to regional ecosystems in need.
  • Sustainable sourcing: Approximately 56 percent of all food was sourced locally and 87 percent was sourced regionally, while décor was sourced and repurposed from collected items from various offices.
  • Performance tracking: Greenbuild measures and calculates its water footprint. Exhibitors contributed to overall sustainability with a simplified version of greening guidelines, whereby each company was given a score from 1 to 100 concerning sustainability efforts. The average score was 77.2.
  • Greenhouse-gas emissions: For the third year, Greenbuild showcased the Net Zero Zone, a 4,500-sq-ft pavilion powered by solar panels. In partnership with TerraPass, Greenbuild offset 100 percent of event emissions to make the event carbon-neutral.
  • Community impact: The 2016 Greenbuild Legacy Project, led by USGBC-LA, the Greenbuild host committee, supported T4T.org in turning a warehouse in an underserved community in Gardenia, Calif., into an interactive educational workshop called the Eco-Tech Maker. The project focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and math curricula; hands-on learning; and environmental stewardship.
  • Hospitality industry: USGBC-LA offered a LEED gap analysis for hotels within the official Greenbuild block and set out on foot within a 1.5-mile radius of the convention center to spread the word on sustainability to local businesses.

The report is available here.