Earth Day is this week, and to celebrate, we're taking a look at green meeting venues across the United States. As I mentioned last week, Portland, Oregon is the number one destination for going green with your events, according to Meeting Strategies Worldwide's Best Places to MeetGreen Scorecard.
Check out a few great venue options for your green events in Portland:
Oregon Convention Center
Portland's Oregon Convention Center is at the forefront of green buildings and eco-friendly practices. In September 2008, the center was recertified with the LEED-EB Silver rating from the United States Green Building Council. As such, it became the first convention center in the country to receive recertification at a higher rating. It is also the first convention center in the United States to earn Salmon-Safe certification, awarded for its commitments to protect water quality and Pacific salmon habitat.
Meeting planners can easily go green at the Oregon Convention Center with its two-tier level of service. Just for using the facility, planners can enjoy recycling bins provided in all meeting and ballroom lobby areas, locally-grown
food products used on menus, recycled biodegradable plates for catered events, and cardboard collection handled by staff when placed in waste receptacles, among other services.
The Oregon Convention Center boasts and an impressive 255,000 square feet of exhibit space, two grand ballrooms and 50 meeting rooms. Exhibitor services include booth cleaning, audio-visual specialists, high-speed Internet access and catering with "Northwest Fresh" menus.
Hilton Portland and Executive Tower
If you're looking for meeting space and overnight accommodations, the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower offers some of the best of both, all with a touch of green. The hotel—the largest in Oregon—is Green Seal certified. The property has implemented green efforts such as low-flow toilets and showerheads (which caused a decrease of 50 percent in overall water consumption); thermostats that operate by motion sensor, thereby conserving heat or air conditioning when guests exit the rooms; and the donation of leftover food to a local food bank.
This 100 percent non-smoking hotel is in the heart of downtown, just two blocks away from a MAX light rail stop. It features over 780 guest rooms and suites with recently remodeled bathrooms, as well as more spacious accommodations in the tower. The property also features 66,000 square feet of meeting space including a grand ballroom.