Miami Beach Convention Center Commits to Supporting Sustainability and Climate Change Actions
Miami Beach, FL (July 7, 2022) – The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) is the centerpiece of Miami Beach’s events, meetings, conventions, and tradeshow industries. As part of the center’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, they have implemented structural changes and incorporated green initiatives to become more sustainable. The MBCC is committed to environmental stewardship by creating a more resilient ecosystem, inside and out. After the center’s renovation, the MBCC incorporated climate-friendly building features and sustainable business practices into every aspect of its operation, including all onsite events.
“Our venue partner teams, led by our OVG360 venue management team, are putting more effort than ever into establishing sustainable practices in every aspect of our events and meetings here at the MBCC,” stated Freddie Peterson, General Manager, MBCC. “We collaborate closely with our clients and contractor partners to establish and promote environmentally friendly measures and improvements.”
To help drive the sustainability efforts at the MBCC, the management team recently formed an internal CSR/Sustainability Committee to promote collaboration, encourage input, and expand overall efforts.
“Several of our committee members are taking the Event Industry Council’s (EIC) comprehensive ‘Sustainable Event Professional Certificate’ course, which empowers us to create sustainability action plans and connect our clients to the local and resilient infrastructure available in Miami Beach and greater Miami-Dade County,” said Ariane Hiltebrand, Director of Marketing & External Relations and CSR/Sustainability Committee Chair at the MBCC.
Commitment to Natural Resource Conservation, Waste Reduction, and Recycling
The Miami Beach Convention Center’s (MBCC) commitment to sustainable practices includes the reduction of landfill waste and the creation of an environmentally friendly space for all to enjoy. The MBCC is supporting the City of Miami Beach’s plastic-free campaign and continues to utilize single-stream recycling onsite, a collection method in which recycled materials are sorted and processed off-site. This activity eliminates cardboard, paper, plastic, and aluminum cans from ending up in landfills and provides an efficient recycling program for show management, exhibitors, employees, and attendees. In addition, plastic water and beverage bottles have been replaced with aluminum cans as a direct result of the City of Miami Beach’s new agreement with PepsiCo. Water bottle refill stations are also available.
During the renovation process, the MBCC installed reduced flow water faucets and flush fixtures to increase water efficiency with an expected 36 percent reduction in water consumption. This equates to approximately 115,000 gallons of water saved annually.
Reduced energy consumption is supported by sun-shading “fins” along the exterior perimeter of the building preventing excessive solar heat gain. The venue leverages daylight in its public spaces to reduce the need for artificial lighting and uses high-efficiency LED lighting in the ballrooms and meeting rooms with occupant light sensors. This new design reduces energy consumption by 20 percent.
The reality of continuous sea-level rise is a critical concern for the City of Miami Beach. The MBCC addresses this challenge in several resilient ways. Critical building systems such as emergency generators, communication systems, electrical switchgear, electrical panels, and emergency responder radio enforcement systems have all been raised above new flood level requirements.
Sodexo Live!, the exclusive food and beverage partner of the MBCC, also brings additional sustainability solutions to the ‘table’. Serving tens of thousands of guests at the MBCC annually, Sodexo Live! utilizes eco-friendly service ware and showcases displays made from both renewable resources and post-consumer recycled materials, providing an array of biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable options.
Silver LEED Certification
In 2020, the MBCC received the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver certification, recognizing environmentally friendly infrastructure and sustainable practices incorporated into the venue as part of its recently completed $620M renovation.
The nationally-acclaimed team at Fentress Architects and Architectonica collaborated to create a state-of-the-art sustainable design with eco-conscious operational features. Builders used recycled materials throughout the project, with more than 20 percent of the materials sourced locally in Miami and the greater Florida area. Over 90% percent of the construction waste was recycled.
Green Space Projects
The MBCC’s $620M expansion incorporated many environmentally friendly features to support green initiatives and help achieve its coveted LEED® Silver certification. The site maximizes open spaces including the transformation of approximately six acres of asphalt into a vibrant public park known as Pride Park and close to three acres into Collins Canal Park. This feature alone reduced the heat island effect and increased the campus’s green space by 245% when parking was moved to the venue’s rooftop. The landscape conservation design preserved more than 100 existing trees and allowed for the planting of a new canopy of more than 1,330 trees. A beautiful Strangler Fig Tree has become the central focus of the outdoor space in the northeast corner of the MBCC Campus. The design also promoted incorporated irrigation and environmental stabilization through plant species selection.
Conventions C.A.R.E, a donation program launched by the MBCC, was created to give back and help support the local community in Miami Beach and greater Miami-Dade County as part of the center’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. Many large-scale conventions, meetings, and events leave behind products that can be repurposed and reused by local non-profit and charitable organizations.
Organic Waste Reduction and Food Donations to Local Charities
Sodexo Live! gives back to the local community by donating unused prepared food from events at the MBCC to The Caring Place, the Miami Rescue Mission, and Food Rescue US – South Florida helping those in need while also diverting organic food waste from local landfills. The Sodexo Live! and MBCC teams continue to foster and build strong relationships with local organizations to address food insecurity in the area. The MBCC works with organizations like Food Rescue US – South Florida both before and after events to organize the pick-up of any unused products in addition to prepared foods once the event concludes.
“I learned throughout doing this that decomposing food in landfills is one of the worst contributors to climate change,” stated Ellen Bowen, Director of Food Rescue US – South Florida. “The methane gas that is produced from decomposing food is 86 times more powerful than CO2.”
The Sodexo Live! team at the MBCC has recently forged a new partnership with Compost For Life (C4L) to collect and compost organic food waste generated at the venue. The organization picks up and converts wasted and non-donatable organic food scraps like fruits, veggies, egg shells, and more to be sustainably composted, which in turn supports local farmers, protects biodiversity, and helps counter the effects of climate change. This new and inclusive composting program was first launched at the ‘Aspen Ideas: Climate Summit’ held at the MBCC in May 2022.
“I’m proud to work with C4L to establish an efficient composting program at the MBCC”, said Danny Medina, Sodexo Live!’s Regional Vice President/ General Manager. “We are extending this option to all show management and meetings to come. Our first collection weighed in at about 500 pounds, to date we have donated over 7,500 pounds, and we look forward to continuing this partnership to further enhance our sustainability efforts.”
Sodexo Live! is currently undergoing a “Food Recovery and Waste Reduction” training and assessment program with acclaimed sustainability consultant Dr. Aurora Benton of Astrapto.
The Miami Beach Convention Center is located at 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more information, please visit www.miamibeachconvention.com or follow Miami Beach Convention Center on Facebook and @miamibeachcc on Instagram.
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About Miami Beach Convention Center
The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) is the centerpiece to Miami Beach’s meetings, conventions and tradeshow industry. Re-imagined following a $620-million-dollar renovation, the expanded MBCC includes a new 60,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom, 4 junior ballrooms, almost 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, an expanded Grand Lobby, pre-function areas that are bathed in natural light, up to 84 breakout rooms, approximately 800 roof deck parking spaces, almost 2,100 miles of cabling to support all IT communications, $7.1 million dollars worth of art curated by the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places program, a new six-acre (Pride Park) and three-acre (Collins Canal Park) public green spaces that can serve as incremental event space. The MBCC is proud to achieve Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ Facility Accreditation, the gold standard for facilities and venues worldwide and LEED® Silver Certification achieved as part of the venue’s $620-million-dollar expansion project which includes many environmentally friendly features.