GBTA Sustainability Initiatives

As in years past, GBTA will implement green initiatives at Convention 2018. We will support these initiatives by:

  • Offering online registration and housing
  • Badges will be emailed for proofing prior to printing onsite which saves money and carbon emissions from postal delivery
  • Minimizing the use of paper; online service kits for exhibitors eliminating copies for exhibitors
  • Using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials for print pieces
  • Purchasing recycled materials to create signage and other products
  • Increasing use of digital signage and monitors
  • Increasing use of mobile app and distributing electronic handouts
  • Utilizing electronic mail for marketing/communication purposes
  • Contracting and working with green/sustainable facilities
  • Working with the caterer to utilize local products when possible and donate excess food or compost food/waste
  • Providing recycling bins at the Convention and recycling paper, badges, and other materials
  • Asking exhibitors to recycle any unused materials
  • Donating all unused convention bags to local charities/schools
  • Minimizing shuttle transportation from hotels to the convention center
  • Limited shuttles as San Diego is a walking city.

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation

Green Meetings

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation is committed to supporting and encouraging sustainable practices, including the hosting of environmentally-friendly "green" meetings in our building.

Our highly successful conservation and recycling efforts have earned us LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and dozens of state and city awards for our eco-conscious initiatives throughout the years.

Read all about our sustainable business practices by downloading our Green Meetings Fact Sheet

San Diego Convention Center Earns Prestigious LEED GOLD Building Certification

LEED Silver certified in 2011, the convention center staff has been working to reach the Gold standard and improve a sustainability business model that began when the venue first opened in 1989. The next highest level from LEED Gold is Platinum. Long before "green" was en-vogue, the San Diego Convention Center was the first to install recycling bins in 1990.

Here are some impressive stats that helped SDCCC earn the Gold certification:

  • In 2016, the convention center diverted a record 79 percent of materials or 3,162 tons.
  • To put that into context, that's almost equal to the weight of 8 Boeing 747's.
  • The convention center replaced their old fluorescent lights with 11,650 energy-efficient LED's in the exhibit hall, meetings rooms and offices.
  • 98 percent of all restrooms have been renovated to low-flow water usage, helping reduce indoor water usage by 32 percent
  • The facility recycles 100 percent of all cardboard, thanks to two cardboard balers.
  • During Comic-Con alone, the convention center recycled 50 tons of cardboard. That’s more than eight times the weight of the Gaslamp Quarter Archway sign that hangs above Fifth Avenue.
  • There are no garbage disposals in the convention center kitchens – food scraps are all composted and reused by local gardeners.
  • Untouched food that hasn't spoiled gets donated to the San Diego Rescue Mission.
  • 91 tons of edible food leftover from events was donated last year by the San Diego Convention Center. That helped feed 145,000 hungry San Diegans.


The convention center's in-house food and beverage team Centerplate has a sustainable food purchasing plan. As often as possible, they purchase produce, vegetables, and protein such as locally-caught fish, from within a 100-mile radius. Local farmers say this partnership is crucial to their business and helps boost the local economy.

"We at Moceri Produce believe that the convention center is a prime example of a way that local institutions and businesses can support local farms," said Robert Farmer, Purchasing Agent, Salesperson and Program Manager for Morceri Farms. "By supporting the local economy with food purchases, this helps regional farmers practice their trade. And it enables the stewardship of the land, water, labor, and environmental resources in order to create healthy, local food options for the guests the convention center.

Ways to be greener while attending GBTA Convention 2018

  • Take public transportation to and from the convention center.
  • Don’t print – go wireless! Carry your mobile device and use our free wireless to save on paper.
  • Bring your own water bottle: the SDCC has spring water coolers in each meeting room.
  • Recycle your paper, plastic and glass in the receptacles in each meeting room and pre-function area.