“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Earth Day, the world’s most significant environmental movement held annually, is coming up and we thought this would be an excellent time to reflect how our actions impact the environment. Since opening in February 2005, sustainability has been at the forefront in our day-to-day operations here at the Salem Convention Center. Guess you could say “every day is Earth Day” here.
We operate with the knowledge that every action we take can help or damage the environment so we choose to take actions that will preserve the natural resources of our planet for future generations to enjoy. That is one of the reasons our facility has successfully adapted multiple renewable energy systems to power our events and day-to-day operations. Here are some actions that we take to help our planet survive and thrive:
#1. Our facility was designed from the ground up with sustainability in mind.
Yes, we do provide beautiful and flexible space for events, meetings, and conferences; but beneath the surface lies a design-built around sustainability. Salem Convention Center is just one of two Salem, Oregon buildings to earn LEED-EB Silver Certification, one step above LEED Certification. The efforts and accomplishments of our staff are reflected in several other certifications and honors including:
#2. We strive to operate waste free!
We are known for our extensive 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. Here are some examples of how we strive to be a waste-free facility:
-SCC composts throughout the entire facility.
-Extensive recycling of all plastic material and styrofoam.
-Our partner hotel, The Grand Hotel in Salem, is also dedicated to eco-friendly practices and participates in“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.
-We donate edible uneaten food to Union Gospel Mission to feed the less-fortunate, donating on average 600 meals a week
-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.
#2- We maximize renewable energy sources.
Our efficient 99-kilowatt solar panel system and wind power from Portland General Electric provides a reliable source of renewable energy and helps us meet our commitment to lower our carbon footprint. Here are some other ways the Salem Convention Center embraces clean energy:
-We have our 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.
-We use ENERGY STAR equipment throughout our facility.
-We provide electric-vehicle charging stations.
-We own 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 our air handling units and water heaters are 95% efficient.
-We have been successful in reducing our thermal footprint by using a low reflecting membrane roof.
-We support the local economy by purchasing most of our products and food from local suppliers.
-Low wattage fluorescent lighting used throughout the facility.
What can I do for Earth Day?
Do not underestimate the positive impact your small actions can have on the health of our planet. Even the simplest actions like turning off the extra lights, avoid using plastic bags when possible, and switching to a refillable water bottle can make a difference. To learn more, visit these helpful resources.
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.