How Can a Venue Be Sustainable? | Sustainability at the Overland Park Convention CenterEvent Estimate
One of the ways we have been working towards bettering our role in the community is through our sustainability initiatives. The Overland Park Convention Center has worked with community partners, corporate leaders, city officials, and clients to cultivate a sustainable future as an events venue.
So how can a venue be sustainable? At OPCC, we have 4 main sustainability initiatives that drive our program: waste management, green purchasing, energy efficiency, and resource conservation.
We upgraded all back of house and administrative trash and recycle areas to expand our recycling efforts. The convention center has recycling containers for glass, compost, paper, plastics, aluminum, waste and batteries.
In addition, all of our departments also practice e-recycling, and our culinary team continues to donate unserved prepared food and reclaim and recycle fryer oil.
One of the largest issues in the hospitality industry is food waste. The Overland Park Convention Center is enrolled in the Food Residual Environmental Diversion Program (FRED). The goal of FRED is to reduce the amount of food waste going into local landfills and recycle valuable organic resources.
Related: Eco-Friendly Event Planning
Our purchasing power as an event venue can make a large impact. We take several steps to ensure green purchasing as a part of our sustainability efforts.
Food and Beverage
Our food and beverage department prioritizes purchasing locally grown and baked products. We also offer vegetarian meal selections, as this type of food consumes less land base and less energy for production.
To ease the waste of one-use dinnerware, we purchase compostable dinnerware (plates, bowls, and cutlery) and recycled cups and napkins for disposable items.
Our staff uses green cleaning methods and eco-friendly products. We designed these procedures to preserve human health and environmental quality.
Our paper towels are USDA Certified Biobased paper towels. They contain 40% or more post-consumer recycled fiber to meet EPA Comprehensive Procurement guidelines. They are Sustainable Forestry Initiative® certified to ensure fibers are from responsible, legal sources. Our hand soap is green seal compliant in all restrooms throughout our venue.
After an investment grade audit in 2017, we selected 3 projects for our energy conservation program and put $2 million toward the initiative:
- Update and expand building automation system
- Replace cooling tower
- Retrofit existing lighting system
Retrofitting lighting resulted in a 15% reduction in overall utility costs. In 2022, we also will have a complete lighting replacement and roof replacement to lower energy consumption and increase efficiency even more.
Our final goal in creating an eco-friendly event venue is resource conservation internally.
Our team is constantly working to reduce our carbon footprint—no matter how big or small. We communicate with employees to cultivate a sustainable environment with mindful energy and resource usage.
Our team created lighting conservation policies with guidelines for both our staff and exhibitors; these guidelines cover the many contexts of the convention center and also encompass use of heating and cooling.
Our facilities also have:
- Low-flow, automatic water faucets
- Water-efficient toilets in all restrooms
- Automatic soap and paper towel dispensers
- Occupancy light sensors in all restrooms, storage closets, and hallways
Learn more about our sustainable event venue!
Contact our team today to learn more about our sustainability program with the Overland Park Convention Center.