Roberts Team Tours Greenbuild 2013

Last month, we were invited by the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC)  to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Greenbuild 2013 Conference and Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PACC). We walked the show floor and back-of-house areas with staff from the PACC, exhibit services provider Freeman, show producer US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Hanley Wood, which manages the Greenbuild Expo in partnership with USGBC.

Walking through the registration area, show store, exhibit hall and loading dock, our hosts demonstrated how their collaborative planning efforts aimed to increase the show’s rate of waste diversion from 9.5% (the PACC’s average) to an estimated 75% percent for the Greenbuild Conference.

Waste diversion tactics that we discussed on the tour included:

–    Training volunteers and convention staff to help attendees distinguish compostable and recyclable waste, as well as using color coded-trash bags to help to PACC maintenance staff properly sort waste for removal, and dedicated loading dock areas for each type of waste stream (see photo)

–     Going “PVC Free” with signage, utilizing a low-cost cardboard alternative to plastics

–     Selecting sustainable conference merchandise, including hoodies and tote bags made from recycled plastic bottles, tees made from local sourced cotton, and water bottles made from recycled glass (see photo)

–     Employing initiatives to educate attendees on public transit options and walkability of Center City Philadelphia, to reduce their reliance on taxis

–    Partnering with local charitable organizations to donate reusable materials from the trade show floor

All told, our Greenbuild hosts demonstrated to us how “sustainability is a journey, not a destination,” recognizing that meeting planners can’t be expected to implement all of these sustainable practices at once.  We can gradually fold sustainable practices into our meetings and events, and with each event, move our industry closer towards that “greener” pasture

For more information on green meetings practices, or to learn how you can partner with local charitable organizations to incorporate a Sustainable CSR activity into your next meeting, contact

Philly themed tees with a sustainable twist

Philly themed tees with a sustainable twist

Designated dock at the PACC

Designated dock at the PACC


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