It’s not easy being GREEN when you’re almost GOLDEN. But the Anaheim Convention Center, which opened in 1967 and will celebrate its golden anniversary in 2017, wins gold for its eco-friendly practices and its commitment to sustainability.
The U.S. Green Building Council® recently awarded Anaheim Convention Center the prestigious 2016 LEED Gold® certification for its high achievement in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality and environmentally friendly practices. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the preeminent program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings.
The 1.6 million-square-foot ACC is the largest U.S. convention center to earn 2016 LEED Gold honors. The ACC also received LEED certification in 2010. An expansion by late 2017 will add 200,000 square feet, giving the West Coast’s largest convention center more than 1 million square feet of flexible, multipurpose exhibit space for trade shows.
Anaheim has also been named the top “Eco City” in Orange County for 2011–12 by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The ACC's Green Lifestyle
- Solar energy: A 300,000-square-foot solar array of 7,900 panels spans the roofs of Exhibit Halls A, B and C to generate an estimated 3.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.
- The "Green Zone": The ACC's on-site recycling center turns kitchen food scraps into nutrient-rich compost later used for the landscape beautification of the Anaheim ResortTM district. Recyclable plastic bottles and aluminum cars are also processed here.
- Green roof: The 2,000-square-foot space atop the Arena box office is a garden for adaptive plants and herbs.
- Landfill reduction: Nearly 75 percent of all mixed trash waste is diverted from the landfill each year.
- Water and energy conservation: Low-flow equipment, compact fluorescents and LEDs lighting, and other energy-efficient materials are used around the ACC.
- HVAC policy: The exhibit hall HVAC is operational only from one hour before the event to its completion. It is not used while the roll-up doors are open in order to conserve energy.
- Escalator policy: Escalators are in operation only during ACC events.
- Product selection: The ACC uses non-toxic cleaners and eco-friendly products in the facility.
- Sustainable Purchasing: The ACC encourages and, when feasible, requires sustainable purchasing for ongoing consumables such as paper, printer toner cartridges, electronics and batteries. Eighty-six percent of ongoing consumable purchases, 95 percent of electronic purchases and 78 percent of cleaning-product purchases meet strict LEED guidelines for sustainability.
- Green footprint: Lobby carpet on all levels is certified "green."
- On-site catering: The ACC partners with ARAMARK, the leading sustainable catering company.
ARAMARK’s Extensive Menu of Green Practices
Through its partnership with ARAMARK, the Anaheim Convention Center has the unique opportunity to showcase sustainability initiatives while providing exceptional meal services to more than 1 million visitors each year. ARAMARK, the on-site sustainable catering company, is committed to creating an environment where proactive recycling practices and sustainable cuisine are embraced.
- Use of biodegradable utensils, cups and serving plates
- Recycling program including state-of-the art disposal practices
- On-site rooftop chef's garden
- Use of local and regional farms for produce, cheese and wines
- Owners of sustainable, humanely raised, grass fed cattle at Hearst Ranch
- Use of humanely raised poultry and other products
- Use of a Seafood WATCH list to determine safe fish choices
- Use of cage-free eggs
- Member of the Rainforest Alliance using certified “shade grown coffee”
- Partners with the Environmental Protection Agency and other related organizations
- Partners with local food bank organizations
- Awarded “Greening Pioneer“ from "Venues Today"
- Received Venue Excellence Award by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM)
Helping the community
- The ACC partners with ARAMARK for “Chefs to End Hunger.” The program donates excess prepared food that would normally go to waste after ACC events. The food is used to prepare meals that are redistributed to the hungry.
- Participating vendors at the 2015 Natural Products Expo West donated 83,000 pounds of surplus food to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Irvine. About 220 volunteers from United Healthcare, University of California Irvine, Irvine Valley College, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach and Orange Coast College fanned across the ACC to collect the leftover food samples, which helped to provide 69,200 meals. Some products made their way to Second Harvest’s first Permanent School Pantry, which opened in 2015 at Lincoln Elementary in Anaheim and served more than 400 families.