GBTA Convention 2022 - Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability Initiatives

Ways to be greener while attending GBTA Convention 2022

Do you want to help make Convention more sustainable? Commit to at least three out of these five actions, and you can add a Green Ribbon to your badge:

  • Walk, bike, scooter, shuttle, or take a FRED to and from all GBTA programming
  • Bring your own water bottle to all GBTA programming 
  • Separate your waste thoughtfully and use the correct bins
  • Take the GREEN GBTA quiz via our app to learn about GBTA’s sustainability efforts at Convention
  • Try an all-vegan or all-vegetarian meal during your trip to San Diego

To receive more information about how to add the Green Ribbon to your badge, make sure to register and watch out for details via email. We also encourage you to attend a Sustainability Pavilion or Education session to learn about sustainability in the business travel sector.  

Ways we are making our event more sustainable

With the help of our suppliers, vendors, and partners, GBTA is on a journey to make Convention as sustainable as possible. And for the first time ever, we will be calculating our emissions related to this annual event so that we can benchmark our progress. Read more about our detailed sustainability initiatives below.


  • Working with Thrust Carbon to calculate emissions related to Convention



  • Travel to Convention: Encouraging all staff to book direct flights, in economy class, where possible
  • During Convention, encouraging staff and attendees to walk, seek out hybrid or electric vehicle options, or utilize public transport
  • During travel to and from Convention, encouraging staff and attendees to utilize public transport or green options
  • Offering shuttle routes for attendees and detailed shuttle info to drive usage

Food & Beverage

  • Providing one fully plant-based meal at Convention

Reduce Waste


  • Using digital signage where possible and recycled materials for printed signage and graphics
  • Encouraging recycling of signage/stands/other materials
  • Providing an option for exhibitors to donate used materials to a local charity
  • Eliminating 14,600 square yards of aisle carpet
  • Electronic proofing of badges prior to printing onsite
  • Providing recycling/composting bins in various locations throughout the Convention
  • Launching digital business cards for GBTA staff at Convention
  • Increasing use of the GBTA mobile app, and utilizing electronic mail for marketing and communication purposes
  • Using bamboo-based paper for printing purposes
  • Sending digital thank you cards

Food & Beverage

  • Donating excess edible food to local charities
  • Offering recyclable and compostable box lunch packages
  • Utilizing food waste that cannot be donated as animal feed
  • Composting pre-production food scraps and attendee plate scraps
  • Supplying used kitchen grease to be processed for biofuel


  • Offsetting event emissions and staff travel
  • Facilitating donations to Cool Effect, a non-profit organization that is reducing carbon emissions, via the GBTA 5K Run/Walk and an optional donation at registration

Engage & Mobilize

  • Using suppliers with sustainable policies/practices in place
  • Hosting our first-ever Sustainability Pavilion to help travel buyers and suppliers learn about sustainable solutions
  • Offering a quiz for attendees to learn about GBTA’s sustainability efforts in an interactive way
  • Building one-stop-shop for sustainability in the attendee app
  • Utilizing a Green Ribbon to encourage attendees to commit to reducing their emissions and waste during Convention

San Diego Convention Center

By attending an event hosted by the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC), attendees support one of the most innovative, large-scale sustainability programs in the United States. The SDCC has demonstrated industry and community leadership by pioneering pathways for large venues to achieve continuously improving levels of sustainability stewardship. Below are some of the initiatives attendees can enjoy during their visit to the SDCC.

Walkability & Mobility

  • Alternative Transportation Programs - Fostering visitor and building occupant use of multiple alternative transportation options to and from the SDCC.


  • Center-to-Table Gardens - New indoor vertical gardens producing fresh, delicious vegetables and herbs from the Westwood Lobby. In partnership with Centerplate, our exclusive food service partner, the SDCC is proud to be a leader in innovative urban agriculture.
  • Food Donations - Assisting clients who send over 25,000 pounds of food annually to local community organizations like Second Harvest of Central California, Christian Service Center, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
  • Composted Food Waste - Food scraps that can’t be donated are recycled into electricity and fertilizer.
  • Natural Gas - 85% use of natural gas for cooking in SDCC kitchens.


  • District Energy Program - The SDCC is part of an innovative district energy program that sources the majority of its energy from renewables sources.
  • Building Efficiency - The SDCC incorporates natural lighting, advanced technology and employee ingenuity to achieve buildings which are 87% more energy efficient per square foot than similar buildings.


  • Water Efficiency - Bathrooms reduce water usage via low-flow urinals and touchless sinks.


  • Waste Reduction - SDCC has worked with clients and contractors to reduce event waste since 2004.
  • Recycling Receptacles - Our recycling and waste bins in the exhibit halls were made from used plastic milk jugs and 100% solar energy.

GBTA invites you to learn more about the sustainability efforts at the San Diego Convention Center here.



Where can I learn more?

AView our comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about San Diego, the Expo, Convention planning, and more!