Houston First Corp., the Texas city's destination management organization that manages the George R. Brown Convention Center, has announced that the facility has achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The 35-year-old building has been recognized for its sustainability, maintenance and operational efforts.
“Our industry-leading entertainment and convention venues are constantly evolving to exceed expectation, and this latest accolade further solidifies our commitment to healthy and sustainable practices,” said Michael Heckman, president and CEO of Houston First. “We are fortunate to have partners like Levy Restaurants and TDIndustries, who work alongside us providing support and assistance so that we can continue making improvements that protect and benefit our community and our future.”
The convention facility previously had achieved LEED Silver certification in 2011 and recertification in 2017, but this year made gains in several areas, including energy conservation, waste reduction, indoor air-quality improvement and water conversation.
The Houston First management team has implemented a number of processes to decrease the facility’s carbon footprint, some of which encourage GRB guests to make more sustainable choices, such as using compostable utensils or refillable water bottle stations. The venue also has a hydro garden program, which spotlights the environmental impact of sourcing local produce.
In addition, Houston First works with local nonprofits, such as Second Servings, who assist with distributing extra food from GRB events to more than 90 shelters, soup kitchens and charities. Some donated items from clients are repurposed or redistributed as materials for art and construction projects.