Sustainability at the OCC
Built with sustainability in mind, the Oregon Convention Center has long held a leadership role in green building and other environmentally responsible business practices. In 2004, we were the first convention center to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings certification. In 2008, the facility was recertified at the Silver level. In 2014, we reached our greatest milestone yet by earning LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification.
We operate with a pledge to continually reduce our environmental footprint, and to educate staff, clients and visitors on the importance of working together toward a sustainable future. Along with Travel Portland, Metro, and the City of Portland and its residents, the OCC has helped to establish Portland, Oregon's national reputation as a premier destination for green meetings and events.
Earning LEED Platinum is rare, and we conducted more than 30 efficiency projects in the last decade to get there.
We’re striving to be the greenest event facility in the world and the first choice as a venue for green meetings. Together, our administration, staff and partners have worked to earn the highest level of LEED certification, which is the preeminent program for design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings. We offer an extensive waste recycling, composting and food donation program, have upgraded 70 percent of our lighting fixtures, and manage stormwater through an innovative rain garden.
OCC also features one of the highest-producing solar power arrays ever installed on a U.S. convention center, a unique achievement even for a LEED Platinum building. But we want to push ourselves even further.
To attain our certifications, we earned points in several important areas:
- Thinking green from the ground up. Just take a walk through our rain garden. It’s an integral part of our stormwater management efforts.
- Proximity to mass transit. Even our visitors can be green when traveling to the convention center, since we’re right next to the Streetcar and TriMet’s MAX and bus lines.
- Keeping the air clean. By using green cleaning products and keeping smoking away from the building, we make sure our guests and staff can breathe easy.
- Teaching others about sustainability. Our staff and management are trained by experts. In turn, they educate visitors and exhibitors about sustainability efforts at the convention center.
In 2014, we earned APEX/ASTM certification, the first standards created uniquely for green meetings and events. This program, verified by the Green Meeting Industry Council, gives us a roadmap for planning sustainable events, helping vendors and guests practice green habits, and working with our community to support the environment.
To maintain our certifications, we constantly track our results and continue to raise the bar in our industry. Achieving LEED Platinum is more than a point of pride. It’s a reflection of our community’s values. The people who live here, the City of Portland and the Metro region have always celebrated a cleaner, healthier environment. But being sustainable is also good for our local economy, bringing in business from environmentally conscious groups and making Portland a destination for green events.
Our work isn’t finished. Here are a few of the projects we are working on now:
- Upgrading more of our lighting and mechanical systems.
- Researching the benefits of adding a stormwater treatment facility.
- Training our staff about additional green practices.
- Educating others in our community about sustainability.
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