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The Meeting of the Future is Green and Looks like this

Associations Now

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People who are looking to leave a smaller carbon footprint like to associate with businesses and organizations that feel the same way. In fact, 84 percent of consumers worldwide say they seek out environmentally and socially responsible products whenever possible.

So, if your association can up the ante on its sustainable meeting practices, you might earn some genuine member kudos—in addition to doing Mother Earth a solid.

Here are four ways meeting planners go outside the normal avenues—recycling, printing on both sides, digital-only session handouts—to conduct a greener meeting.

1. Consider going zero waste.

This might sound really daunting, but don’t tune out yet.

First off, the definition of zero waste is actually 90 percent of waste diverted from landfills. And accomplishing that usually comes down to offering composting for uneaten food.

Jessica Davis, director of the Office of Sustainability at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), took her first stab at a zero-waste event when IUPUI’s natatorium hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic diving trials.

In planning the event, Davis found that “If you give [attendees] waste they will generate waste,” she said. So she worked with food services to create less waste and offer composting. For example, the venue switched from plastic to wood coffee stirrers (which can be composted) and offered condiment pumps instead of individual plastic packets.

“At the end of that planning meeting with food services, we were able to eliminate almost all of the trash we would be giving to people,” Davis said.

In the end, the event’s diversion rate was 93 percent, which earned it the “Green Sports Alliance Innovators of the Year” honor.

Read the full story here.

A Slam Dunk for Sustainability

By Dan Munn, DLR Group

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To close June on a sustainable note, I attended the Green Sports Alliance Summit 2017 in Sacramento, California, and joined the Make It Last: Sustainable Solutions for Existing Venues panel with leaders representing Key Arena, New York Mets’ Citi Field, and Wrigley Field. These sporting venues implemented sustainable, innovative solutions to modernize their iconic facilities. During our panel we shared challenges encountered during the design processes and how we overcame these barriers, ranging from budgeting to infrastructure. The final result of these American landmarks are energy efficient upgrades that reflect sustainable champions.

Solar Energy Brings the Heat
I spoke about DLR Group’s recent canopy design for NRG Energy at the Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena, which created a sustainable, marketable space to replace a formerly low-traffic area. Our design centers on a vibrant skylight canopy that generates environmentally-friendly solar energy. The canopy is composed of 14 solar skylights producing approximately 34,000 kW/hour of energy per year and powers flexible hospitality stations, LED screens, advertising, and WiFi connections. A color changing LED system creates an energetic atmosphere, drawing people to this space. This upgrade maximizes the triple bottom line of fan engagement, sustainable operations, and increased revenue.

Smart Business
There have been many questions as to whether solar energy is a cost effective energy solution. Aside from an industry compound annual growth rate of over 60 percent in solar energy, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent over the last 10 years.

Read the full story here.


It’s Overtime for Climate Change and Everyone Needs to Score

SportsBusiness Journal
By Vivek Ranadivé

As the heart of civic life, sports teams have a unique opportunity to be a leader in the environmental change movement. The greatest civilizations in the world have centered around large gathering places where people come together to talk, interact, enjoy sports and entertainment, and even engage in political debate. Today, sports venues are no different — they serve as the 21st century communal fireplace.

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When we set out to build the new Sacramento Kings arena in downtown Sacramento, we asked more than 20,000 Sacramentans what they wanted to achieve in their new arena, Golden 1 Center. Across the board the answer was: “To become a model of sustainability.”

And that is what we built. Our new arena achieves the highest sustainability standards, becoming the world’s only 100 percent solar-powered and LEED platinum-certified arena — putting it in the top 3 percent of all buildings scored by the organization.

By moving our arena downtown, we are reducing average miles traveled per attendee by 20 percent, cutting overall air emissions by 24 percent, and by 2020, will have reduced travel-related greenhouse gas emissions per attendee by 36 percent.

As the first-ever indoor/outdoor arena in the world, we’re able to take advantage of the region’s natural cooling phenomenon — The Delta Breeze — to control the building’s climate efficiently.

We built seven green outdoor walls totaling 4,800 square feet — covering two-thirds of the arena — as a living symbol of sustainability, installed low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the arena, which can save over 40 percent of a typical arena’s water consumption, and ensured 99 percent of our demolition materials from the construction of the arena — over 101,000 tons — were recycled and diverted from landfills.

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