“It’s not just lip service, these guys meet and exceed EarthWISE standards. It’s like they are trying to be the greenest company in Oregon.” – Marion County Waste Reduction Coordinator, Alan Pennington, talking about The Salem Convention Center.
With Earth Day just weeks away, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the ways the event industry is evolving and becoming more environmentally conscious. In the last few years we’ve seen the demand for eco-events increase first-hand. This trend is not unique to just to the Salem Convention Center (SCC). Convention centers around the globe are experiencing a greater call to host similar sustainable and green functions within their facilities.
Though we wish we could say all convention centers share our fervor for sustainability, this is not always the case. In a survey of convention centers around the globe, Associations Now found that 30% of the centers have no dedicated sustainability coordinators or managers on staff.
We know that without our team and focused sustainable practices, the Salem Convention Center could similarly fall behind, which is why we always place sustainability front and center. It’s this philosophy that makes us the ideal partner to accommodate and elevate your next event.
What can eco conscious companies and individuals expect when renting space in Salem Convention Center?
Beautiful and Sustainable Event Spaces
The Salem Convention Center provides stunning and spacious spaces to fit a variety of needs; but beneath the surface lies a design-built around sustainability:
- The terrazzo floor, located in the Santiam Gallery, made of recycled material from the building that stood here previously.
- The beautiful Worthwood floor in our Willamette Foyer made from recycled plywood ends.
- The carpet in the hallway of our upper level made from a recycled nylon and plastic mix.
- The low wattage florescent lighting used throughout the facility.
Locally Sourced Food, Water, and Air!
When possible, the Salem Convention Center utilizes resources from our local surroundings and does its part to give back to the community:
- SCC has its own water tower with a closed loop system located on the roof. This system allows only evaporated water to leave our heating and cooling system, thus conserving water. The water tower also utilizes outside rainwater and chills the water in order to conserve energy.
- SCC owns an energy recovery unit (ERU). This system draws in outside air and mixes it with inside air for use within the facility to meet temperature needs.
- All of SCC’s air handling units and water heaters are 95% efficient.
- SCC has been successful in reducing its thermal footprint by using a low reflecting membrane roof.
- SCC supports local economy by purchasing products and food from local suppliers.
- Offers edible uneaten food to Union Gospel Mission to feed the less-fortunate, donating on average 600 meals a week.
Company-wide Recycling and Composting Policies
We know the impact waste can have on our planet and work hard to compost, recycle, and reuse everything we can.
- SCC composts throughout entire facility
- Extensive recycling of all plastic material and Styrofoam
- SCC participates with “Clean the World,” by recycling all used soap products from guest rooms.
- SCC uses recycled paper for all printed material.
- SCC purchases all Green Seal certified janitorial supplies.
Renewable Energy Systems to Power Your Event
We take great pride in our efficient solar panel system because it saves money by lowering our energy costs and it helps us meet our commitment to preserve the environment. Beyond that, there are other environmental-friendly energy considerations used during your event:
- SCC uses 99-kilowatt solar panels systems to generate energy.
- SCC purchases a percentage of Portland General Electric’s wind power.
- SCC purchases as much ENERGY STAR equipment as possible.
- Offers electric-vehicle charging stations.
A Well-Trained, Environmentally-Conscientious Staff
We couldn’t do all the things we do and pull off any of our green initiatives without our staff. Our employees are all fully trained and well versed in our sustainable practices through our specific orientation and regular staff educations on our sustainable practices. As a company SCC is constantly reviewing and updating our practices to match the latest in environmental trends.
The efforts and accomplishments of our staff are reflected in several certifications and honors:
- SCC is a proud member of the United States Green Building Council.
- We’ve been recognized by Oregon Business Magazine on the 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon list 4 years in a row.
- We are LEED certified.
- We are also EarthWISE certified.
To learn more about the Salem Convention Center’s sustainable practices, visit our website or feel free to contact our office at (866) 614-1900.
Associations Now – Convention Centers Help Meet Green Meeting Expectations
Statesman Journal – Convention Center Offers Green Gatherings
Marion County Oregon – EarthWISE Business Assistance