Featured Circle Member

The Oregon Convention Center


Smart Energy Partner - Oregon Convention Center

The Oregon Convention Center (OCC) has set itself a high bar.

"We’re striving to be the greenest events facility in the world and the first choice as a venue for green meetings," said Rick Hodges, sustainability coordinator.

Smart Energy is one important step in a multi-pronged approach to being a national sustainability leader. As a Smart Energy Circle member, the facility offsets 100 percent of its carbon emissions related to natural gas use.

Attention to energy use, storm water disposal, waste reduction and other environmental considerations has led to two impressive achievements. In 2014, the OCC earned the prestigious LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. In addition, it became the first convention center to reach fourth level certification from the Green Meetings Council, a banner for attracting national organizations committed to sustainable event management.

The OCC has made bold investments and policy decisions in pursuit of the "greenest" designation. For example:

  • More than 6,500 solar panels collect sunshine on the center's roof. The largest solar project currently allowed in Oregon, the installation is expected to produce the equivalent of 25 percent of the building's electricity.
  • Retrofitted plumbing fixtures save more than 1.2 million gallons of water each year.
  • The OCC has replaced most of its interior lights with energy-saving LEDs.
  • The lovely rain garden builds on one of Portland's strengths—abundant water—while managing the challenge of too much storm water runoff. Beautifully designed basalt structures direct water from the center's 5.5-acre roof into gardens of native plants. The natural landscaping slows the runoff, allowing it to seep into the ground instead of filling the storm drains.
  • The OCC has aggressive waste-reduction goals, requiring that materials used in events be reusable or recyclable. This policy allows the OCC to donate thousands of pounds of good, but unused, food to local nonprofits.
  • In one year, it also contributed nearly 10,000 items left behind by vendors to community organizations. Local charities have received everything from tables and chairs to carpet, tools, toilet paper and clothing.

Sustainability. Community. Innovation.

The Oregon Convention Center beautifully demonstrates Oregon's values to visitors from around the globe.

Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.
Portland, OR 97230