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Greenbuild 2016 Diverted 90% of Waste

Friday, March 10, 2017

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Greenbuild, the largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, has released its 2016 Sustainability Report with the event’s 90 percent diversion rate topping the list of successes.

Informa Exhibitions U.S. and the U.S. Green Building Council announced the release of the report, which details which green goals were met at the 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held last October at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


“The Greenbuild Sustainability Report highlights the collaborative efforts made to reduce waste and energy use as well as our commitment to leave a lasting legacy in the cities we visit,” said Kate Hurst, vice president of Community Advancement, Conference & Events.

Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

To ensure exhibitors were meeting the guidelines, each exhibitor completed a mandatory survey, which collected data on the booth design, construction and operations.

More than 18,000 attendees were at the 2016 event, a plurality of which (24 percent) were architecture/engineering and design firms. Rounding out the top three categories in attendance were professional services consulting/education (16 percent) and contractors and builders (14 percent).

Highlights of the report include waste management, sustainable sourcing and greenhouse gas emissions, to name a few.

The 90 percent diversion rate was an increase of 18 percent over the convention center’s baseline diversion rate, according to the report. The goal had been set at 80 percent.

The main goal for the organization, however, is to move toward a zero-waste event.

Cbl62, CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 90 percent diversion rate was an increase of 18 percent over the convention center’s baseline diversion rate, according to the report. The goal had been set at 80 percent.

“Events can be material intensive affairs. Waste from large events is generated in high volumes, and can be complicated and challenging to dispose of. It is also often highly visible to attendees and exhibitors. Because the materials used for a show vary immensely, the industry is faced with challenges in the sourcing of materials that can easily be reused, recycled or composted and still meet a standard in look, feel and function,” according to the report.


Greenbuild also tracked its water consumption footprint for the first time, calculating that the entire event used over 11 million gallons of water. The WaterBuild Summit was also launched, in which almost 200 attendees listened to keynote speaker Michael E. Webber, Deputy Director, Energy Institute, The University of Texas at Austin.

“Dr. Webber, a leader and teacher in the field of energy technology and policy, explained how energy and water supplies are linked and how problems in either can be crippling for the other,” according to the report.

In partnership with Change the Course—a national water initiative— attendees contributed 33,000 gallons of water to regional ecosystems in need.

However, it wasn’t just event organizers who participated in the sustainability efforts and achievements.


The Greenbuild Mandatory Exhibitor Greening Guidelines received an overhaul in 2016. To ensure exhibitors were meeting the guidelines, each exhibitor completes a mandatory survey, which collects data on the booth design, construction and operations. Greenbuild also randomly selects 10 percent of exhibitors for an audit to make sure the requirements are met.

In 2016, the event combined the survey with the Green Exhibitor Awards, which streamlined the process and allowed Quanex Building Products (best in show), Roll-A-Shade (most innovative) and Skanska (smallest environmental impact) to walk away with green recognition.

Greebuild will also reuse a host site for its 2017 conference, set for Nov. 8-10 in Boston, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The event will also coincide with the ArchitectureBoston Expo.


Tagged categories: Environmental Protection; Green building; Greenbuild; LEED; Net Zero Energy ; U.S. Green Building Council

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