While many conference-goers are trying to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing travel, sometimes conferences abroad are unavoidable. We look at some worldwide sustainable venues that off-set that travel carbon.
Moscone Center | San Francisco
With the capacity to accommodate over 20,000 delegates total, San Francisco’s largest conference centre, the Moscone Center, had its work cut out for it operating sustainably. Luckily, it is more than up to the challenge.
The new Moscone Center complex received the US Green Building Council’s highest level of certification, LEED Platinum, and is the first convention centre in the US to achieve this. The centre also boasts the lowest carbon footprint per delegate of any major convention centre in North America.
Solar power is a large part of the complex’s green plan and has been since 1992. Located atop Moscone South and spanning two roofs, it consists of approximately 2,600 photovoltaic (PV) modules with a capacity of 687 kw.
Naturally, as the centre sits in California water reclamation is also an important factor, and the facility’s drainage system is designed to collect and treat over 15 million gallons of groundwater for reuse in plumbing, landscape irrigation, and street cleaning.
Bella Centre | Copenhagen
With over 650,000 sq. metres of event space made up of exhibition halls, breakout spaces, and meeting rooms, the Bella Centre is one of the most popular conference destinations in Europe.
Sustainable materials, energy efficiency, and circularity were central focus point in the centre’s recent expansion, Bella Arena. This has led to Bella Arena obtaining the international gold certification within sustainability from DGNB. The business’ beverage supplier, Carlsberg, also provided recycled beer kegs which were used in the building process, among other recycled materials.
The centre also used energy efficiency programmes and only sources fresh, sustainable produce for its food and beverage offering.
Stockholmsmässan | Stockholm
Sitting only nine minutes away from the centre of Stockholm, the Stockholmsmässan offers flexible spaces for any kind of event. With 76 different meeting rooms available, and at 70,000 sq. meters, the centre can accommodate up to 30,000 participants.
The venue is also using cutting edge technology to make its operations sustainable. Looking after the ecosystem, Stockholmsmässan furthers biodiversity by maintaining its own park where the lawn is allowed to grow wildly and attract pollinating insects such as bees, bumblebees, and butterflies, all of which are vital for crop pollination.
Speaking of crops, the venue’s restaurants centre around sustainable produce, and are certified with the Swedish sustainability label KRAV. The centre also does not serve any fish or seafood that is red listed by WWF and converts all food waste into climate friendly biogas.
Finally, efficient heat pumps regulate temperatures within the venue, and the exhibition halls are easily partitioned so no areas are heated or ventilated while unused. All of the electricity used is derived from renewable sources.
Umweltforum | Berlin
Featuring a gargantuan hall with a 17-metre-high ceiling as well as 11 seminar rooms, areas for catering and exhibitions, and an outdoor terrace, Umweltforum is an extensive venue sitting in the heart of Germany’s capital city. Using mobile walls, new areas and rooms can be created for different event formats, offering flexible meeting spaces.
As the name might suggest, Umweltforum is a venue designed for its sustainability. For more than 20 years, the venue has been obtaining electricity entirely from renewable sources, and even creating its own renewable energy for consumption. The Umweltforum’s solar power system is located on the green area next to the venue and on the building’s roof. It has a collector area of 120 sq. metres and its output is 15.3 kW at peak. It supplies more than 9,000 kilowatt hours of green electricity per year.
The venue’s food and beverage offering is also delivered sustainably, with Umweltforum operating under the EU organic regulation for milk, cream, yoghurt, quark, butter, eggs, rolls, baguettes and breads as well as cane sugar. The venue sources these products exclusively from organic cultivation and other products by considering their locality and the sustainability of their production.