Visit Houston is committed to support sustainable meetings by referring clients to the Green Building Resource Center. The Center gives them access to information on sustainability practices and recycling as well as equipment for energy conservation. Also we support meeting planners and incoming events by connecting them with local NGOs like Aramark, The Salvation Army Homeless Shelter, The Houston Food Bank or Habitat for Humanity to assure a greater sustainable impact on the local community.
We also provide useful information on sustainability on convention centers, hotels, and transportation companies which we feature on our website to help clients select among a vast array of sustainable options. That reflects Houston’s commitment to embrace stronger sustainability programs that benefit clients, suppliers and the local industry as a whole.
Houston, a city known as the Energy Capital of the World, is also a progressive place where environmental initiatives abound. The EPA's Green Power Partnership hailed the City of Houston as the No.1 municipal purchaser of green power in the nation and a crucial leader in the alternative energy trend – with 25% of the City of Houston's total electricity purchased from wind energy. Furthermore, Houston does not only create cleaner ways to use energy - Houston actually uses less energy. The City knows about energy efficiency: Bike Share kiosks in Downtown. Electric vehicle charging stations at the grocery store. Over 15 miles of new rail lines. Wind turbines and solar on rooftops. Solar-powered mini-offices at schools and parks. E-cycling and polystyrene foam recycling. Urban gardens surrounding office buildings. LEED-certified historic buildings. Complete Streets in urban neighborhoods. Accessible and recreation-oriented bayous.
Houston's Convention Facilities are part of a city-wide effort to create an environmental and social sustainability integration of energy-efficient facilities. Currently Houston is number four in the nation in the number of LEED certified buildings with 186 certified projects. That's up from #7 just a year ago. Houston is at the forefront of the electric car movement. Houston was one of the first cities to receive EV cars for a City fleet, which now includes 40 Nissan Leafs and plug-in hybrids. At Houston's major convention facilities, you can produce a more sustainable meeting or event.
The George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center for instance is one of the top convention centers in the United States with an increased commitment to sustainability. Having long recognized the importance of green efforts, the GRB started looking for opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since! The GRB regularly partners with Houston-area groups to recycle, reduce and reuse waste from events, helping ensure that the GRB’s commitment to sustainability benefits the local community. Even the facility itself is green, having earned LEED Silver certification status in 2011. The GRB is able to divert more than 42% of its waste from facility and convention events away from landfill
Houston is at an historic juncture. Decision-drivers for the city and the region are no longer only economic. There is an emerging recognition that the city has the building blocks to be one of the most livable, equitable and sustainable places in the nation, and lead the next revolution: the green revolution.