Sustainability is at the forefront of Greenbuild - especially while we’re on site in Chicago for Greenbuild. We challenge you to become an environmental steward while you’re in Chicago. Below are a few ideas you can do to experience sustainability while learning about Chicago. 

Please pledge at least three best practices (or more!) you are committed to doing to keep Greenbuild, and the surrounding Chicago community, green.

  • Use low carbon transportation like bicycles (Divvy) or trains and buses (CTA) and if I must use Uber/Lyft/Taxi, I will carpool.
  • Consider staying at a Certified Green Hotel in Chicago. 
  • Use the linen and towel reuse program at my hotel and turn off lights when I leave my hotel room.
  • Bring my reusable water bottle/coffee mug and reusable bag with me (and avoid the City of Chicago plastic bag tax!)
  • Responsibly dispose of waste materials by recycling or composting at the convention center, at my hotels, and the outdoor Bigbelly recycling stations around the city.
  • Download and use the mobile app instead of the printed Expo Guide for Greenbuild.
  • Choose sustainable, local or organic food whenever possible when dining out during the event, and in true Chicago style, I will not put ketchup on my hotdog and I will only eat pizza in square form. (check the Greenbuild App for suggestions for sustainable restaurants in Chicago.)
  • When I drink beer, I will choose Illinois draft beer over cans (preferable) or bottles (less preferable).
  • Learn about the importance of water in Chicago by visiting the Chicago Water Tower, Riverwalk or a lakefront beach.

Greenbuild Sustainability Objectives

  1. Move toward a Zero Waste Event
  2. Advance Stakeholder Education and Engagement
  3. Improve Sustainable Sourcing
  4. Improve Performance and Tracking Methods
  5. Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  6. Positively Impact Communities
  7. Lead the Event Industry Through the Advancement of Sustainable Event Management Operations
Co-located with ArchitectureBoston Expo, Greenbuild 2017 achieves a record-breaking waste diversion rate of 90.5 percent and 25,000 pounds of donations among highlights

Offset Projects

During registration, we ask that you contribute $15 (it's optional) to offset your carbon footprint from traveling and being at Greenbuild. Those contributions go toward these projects:

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Campus Clean carbon credits allow U.S. colleges and universities leading their peers in emissions reductions to create credits and the ability to reinvest into further emissions reductions projects on campus. Carbon credits are generated from energy efficiency projects, energy conservation, LEED-certified buildings, and renewable energy installed at participating campuses. Other universities include Ball State and Southern Oregon.

Clinton Landfill in Illinois

Landfill Gas capture carbon projects turn garbage into power capturing methane they release. They also benefit the local economy by creating jobs and adding renewable energy into the grid. We are also looking ahead to 2019 and supporting Wolfcreek Landfill Gas to Energy project in Georgia.

100% wind RECs

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) represent the intangible environmental and social benefits of renewable energy that go along with the physical electricity that is generated and delivered to the grid. These particular credits are generated from 100% wind projects to cover the kwh used during Greenbuild.

Top Five Sustainability Stories from Greenbuild 2017
As a five-time winner of the IMEX-GMIC Green Meetings award, we are committed to raising the bar in sustainable events each year and are pleased to announce the Top Five Sustainability Stories from Greenbuild/ABX 2017. 

Best in the history of Greenbuild!

Early in the planning process, the waste team set an ambitious goal of 81% for the Greenbuild 2017 waste diversion. This rate was 5% higher than what was achieved when Greenbuild was in Boston back in 2008. With the help of an amazing team at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), Freeman, waste-hauler Save that Stuff, and local waste volunteers, the show was able to divert nearly all the materials from the show out of landfills to be recycled, reused, or donated.

Each year, our Exhibitor Donation Program collects leftover booth materials from Greenbuild Exhibitors. In 2017, our exhibitors along with exhibitors from the co-located ABX show, donated more than 25,000 pounds of materials including cement blocks, flooring, carpet, floor tiles and wood. These items were donated to local non-profits including Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, over 1,500 pounds of food donations were also collected by our catering partner at the BCEC, Levy and distributed to Boston Rescue Mission.

The legacy project for Greenbuild 2017 was The Green Building Tech Program at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School.

The program is designed to create awareness of green building technologies in the early development of the trades in facilities management, electrical, plumbing, and carpentry. As part of the mission to expose the next generation of building operators and middle-skills trade workers to a wide range of “green collar” jobs, students in the program came to Greenbuild 2017 for a tour of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, learning first-hand how the LEED-certified buildings operate and how programs and practices support major events in going green.

Students also met with exhibitors, who exposed them to a wide variety of “green-construction” companies and products.

Our host for Greenbuild 2017, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, purchased renewable energy credits (RECs) for all electricity used and Carbon Offsets for all natural gas. In doing so, all the activities that took place at the convention center for Greenbuild 2017 were sourced by 100% renewable
energy, making Greenbuild 2017 our first show to achieve this milestone.

Starting at registration, attendees were asked to make a pledge and commit to sustainable practices while on site in Boston. Almost 13,000 attendees made the pledge while registering for the event.

Additionally, we asked attendees to stop by the Sustainability Hub to "make your pledge" in person. Attendees could choose one or commit to all of them in an effort to make the event more sustainable. More than 1,500 additional pledges were made onsite. Attendees committed to sustainability in the following ways:

  • Bring my reusable water bottle to avoid resource and waste impacts of disposable plastic water bottles
  • Enjoy the host city and reduce my carbon footprint by walking to and from my hotel, using public transportation or car-sharing service 
  • Responsibly dispose of waste materials by recycling or composting at the convention center and hotels
  • Use the linen and towel reuse program at my hotel and turn off lights when I leave my hotel room