—Heather Back, Metro visitor venues communications and policy
Verified best practices to respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics
The Oregon Convention Center has announced that it has achieved the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the convention center has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its facility for meetings, conventions and retail.
As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The accreditation verifies that the Oregon Convention Center has implemented best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.
“When we can safely reopen, OCC will return to our core mission providing a space for membership organizations and meeting planners to bring people together from all around the globe to network, drive business and innovate technologies and business practices that transform our world,” said Craig Stroud, executive director. “We are deeply committed to safely reopen and return to being the economic driver for our state and this accreditation is a first step in doing so,” he continued.
The Oregon Convention Center is the largest convention center in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and is a leader in sustainable operations and business practices. Totaling one million square feet of space, OCC hosts an average of 400 events and more than 500,000 visitors annually. In FY 2019, the Oregon Convention Center generated $655 million in economic impact for the region, supported nearly 6,000 jobs and generated more than $23.2 million in state and local tax revenues.
The Oregon Convention Center is a key economic driver to greater Portland and Oregon by attracting national and international visitors. Conference attendees extend their stay to visit the Oregon coast, Willamette Valley wineries, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, central Oregon and more, spending an average of $404 per day.
“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, the Oregon Convention Center has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.”
To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the Oregon Convention Center was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at www.gbac.org.
About the Oregon Convention Center
The OCC became the first LEED-EB certified convention center in 2004, and then achieved LEED-EB Silver in 2008 and LEED Platinum in 2014 and 2019. The facility has also been Salmon-Safe certified since 2007 from Salmon-Safe, a clean water advocacy nonprofit, for its innovative rain garden, responsible storm water management efforts and integrated pest management policy. The OCC is owned and operated by Metro and managed through the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission. Visit oregoncc.org for more information.
About GBAC, a Division of ISSA
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit www.gbac.org.
With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit www.issa.com or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.