Sustainability at the Oregon Convention Center
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 (LEED®) for Existing Buildings certification. In 2008, the facility was recertified at the Silver level. In 2014, we reached our biggest milestone yet by earning LEED® Platinum, the highest level of certification.
In 2014, we also 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 attain our certifications, we earned points in several important areas:
- Thinking green from the ground up. Just take a walk around our rain garden. It’s an integral part of our stormwater management efforts to protect the natural habitat and our local salmon population.
- Proximity to mass transit. Even our visitors can be green when traveling to the convention center, since we’re right next to the Portland 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 and encourage participation.
We aspire to be the most sustainable convention center in the world
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.
To maintain our certifications, we constantly track our results and continue to raise the bar in our industry. Achieving LEED® Platinum, APEX/ASTM and other certifications is more than a point of pride. It’s a reflection of our community’s values. The people who live here have always celebrated a cleaner, healthier environment and sustainable communities. It's also good for our local economy. Along with Metro, Travel Portland, and the City of Portland, the OCC has helped to establish Portland, Oregon's now international 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 offer extensive waste recycling, composting, and food and reusable material donation programs, working in partnership with many local nonprofit and community assistance organizations. We've upgraded 80 percent of our lighting fixtures to more energy-efficient LED technology, including our iconic spire and crescent lights. 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.
And we intend to push ourselves even further
A few of the projects we are working on now:
- Upgrading even more of our lighting and mechanical systems.
- Researching the benefits of adding a stormwater treatment facility.
- Training and empowering our staff to be green leaders and innovators in the workplace (and back at home).
- Educating others in our community and industry about sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
USGBC and its related logo, LEED® and its related logo, and the LEED® Certification trademarks are owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and are used with permission.