Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pittsburgh proves sustainable venue programs get better with age

In 2003 the David L. Lawrence Convention Centre (DLCC) opened as one of the first LEED-certified convention venues in the world. Nearly 10 years later has sustainability paid off?

Based on a recent session at the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference it seems that sustainable building and business operations have combined to achieve triple bottom line benefits that stand the test of time in Pittsburgh.

Economic gains:
  • Green meetings are estimated to comprise 22% of the convention market, valued at $24.4 billion. 
  • Pittsburgh is experiencing 4.5% growth in green-seeking conventions opting to meet in the city.
  • Direct spend on green-seeking events in Pittsburgh is 26% of total spend, or $144 million. 
  • 38% of DLCC revenue comes from green events. 
Environmental benefit:
  • Natural ventilation at the DLCC has saved enough energy to power 51 households. 
  • DLCC has saved 55 million gallons of drinking water by better connecting use of water to source of water.
Customer & experiential advantages:
  • Turns out people are more satisfied at a green event in a green building: planners report a 93% satisfaction rating with the DLCC event space.
  • 61% of DLCC employees adopt formalized G1(GreenFirst) practices at home.
  • 82% of event planners said DLCC environmental practices positively impacted their decision to meet in Pittsburgh.
The lessons?
  • Sustainability produces short term gains and long term benefits.
  • Measurement is necessary to understand and communicate value.
  • 'Green is good', but maximised value is only possible at the nexus of social, economic and environmental considerations.
For further information check out Green First, the David L. Lawrence Convention Centre's sustainable meeting micro-site and the Event Venue Benchmarking study produced by EvolveEA.

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