Yes, Seattle is the Emerald City. But green isn’t just a color that emanates from the city’s woods, trees and natural surroundings. When you choose Seattle to host your meeting or convention, you’re choosing one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the United States. Throughout the community, Seattle’s businesses, organizations and residents are leading the way in sustainable and environmentally responsible practices.
Designed to be green
Seattle has long experimented with various incentive programs that motivate green construction. One result: the Bullitt Center – the greenest commercial building in the world, located in the heart of Capitol Hill. Here, not only do the toilets compost, the 575 solar panels on the roof provide for net zero energy consumption and regenerative technology in the elevators render them 60% more energy efficient. Several years ago, the city required that all new city buildings over 5,000 square feet were required to meet new LEED™ building ratings and has since implemented energy benchmarking for city buildings. Today the city has one of the highest concentrations of sustainable buildings in the country, and as a state, Washington is ranked 3rd in the country for the amount of LEED certified buildings according to the US Green Building Council. Just a few examples in the travel space: the brand new Hyatt Regency Seattle is targeting LEED Gold Certification this year (the second highest green building rating in the world) and the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) is LEED Silver certified. The new Summit building of the WSCC will be another hallmark of sustainable design practices.
Responsibility runs deep
Seattle City Light was the first utility company in the nation to become carbon neutral. And today, businesses and organizations across the city are committed to following in their footsteps. In fact, the Sounders FC is now the first carbon neutral professional soccer team in North America. CenturyLink Field, home of the Sounders FC and the Seattle Seahawks, is one of the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable sports and entertainment facilities in the world with a waste diversion rate of greater than 95% each of the last five years.
The Washington State Convention Center also continues to reduce their carbon footprint with sustainable culinary practices including sourcing their food products locally and providing 100% compostable box lunches and food service items. The center has an annual waste diversion rate of 71% and when surplus food is unavoidable, they regularly donate to FareStart, a program helping those in need transform their lives through food. Additionally, the Sheraton Grand Seattle was the first to pilot a sustainability initiative that was later rolled out to all SPG hotels internationally. The program is now called Make a Green Choice and allows guests to opt out of full housekeeping in exchange for loyalty points or a food and beverage voucher.
Regardless of meeting type, Seattle will create a home for your group that sustains a healthier environment for all. Contact us to learn more about how the city can serve as a place for inspired and environmentally sustainable meetings.
Originally appeared on pcma.org.