Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

December 10 2012

San Jose: Keeping Meetings Green

Jennifer N. Dienst
In 2011, the City of San Jose and Team San Jose launched a $120-million expansion and renovation of the San Jose Convention Center, set to debut in the fall of 2013. Adding 125,000 square feet of flexible space, including 25,000 square feet of meeting space and 35,000 square feet of ballroom space, the expansion will further Team San Jose’s vision of becoming the ultimate green convention destination by seeking LEED Silver certification. The center expansion also aims to leave as small of an environmental footprint as possible, with 95 percent of demolition materials being recycled or re-used as building materials.

Beyond offering an eco-conscious destination and convention venue, Team San Jose assists meeting planners with greening their events down to every last detail. Last year, the center installed two charging stations for electric vehicles, and the center’s culinary team, under the new direction of Executive Chef Gilbert Hitzler, makes an effort to buy organic ingredients from local vendors whenever possible. The San Jose Convention Center and its cultural facilities also maintained an 85-percent diversion rate last year, meaning 85 percent of waste generated at the center was recycled, repurposed, or composted.

The City of San Jose has also developed its own Green Vision: an ongoing plan dedicated to city-wide sustainability that includes everything from green jobs to reductions in energy use and bans on single-use carryout plastic bags. In addition, last year, the City of San Jose completed financing for the new San Jose Environmental Innovation Center - a state-of-the-art facility that will house emerging clean-technology companies, a construction-materials store, and a household hazardous-waste facility.

At a Glance

Meeting facilities: The San Jose Convention Center, Center for the Performing Arts, California Theatre, Montgomery Theater, South Hall, San Jose Civic, and Parkside Hall offer a collective 271,000 square feet of column-free exhibit and meeting space.

Number of hotel rooms: 8,900

Attractions: Nightlife, dining, and art galleries in the South of First Area; San JoseMuseumof Art; Rosicrucian EgyptianMuseumand Planetarium; San Jose Sharks’ NHL games at the HP Pavilion; and San Pedro Square Market

ECO GATHERINGS:
In addition to composting, the San Jose Convention Center (expansion under way) provides both recyclable and compostable serveware, from napkins to lunch containers, for meetings and events.

ON THE FOREFRONT: From anticipating LEED Silver certification to installing charging stations for electric cars, Team San Jose and its expanding San Jose Convention Center define what it means to be green.

For More Information

Mark McMinn, Director of Sales; Team San Jose; (408) 792-4521 or (800) SAN-JOSE; mmcminn@sanjose.org; www.SanJose.org



 

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