Minneapolis Convention Center Achieves LEED Green Building Certification

September 6, 2017
MCC Pollinator Park

The Minneapolis Convention Center has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for Existing Buildings: Operation & Maintenance (EBOM).

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED rating system is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

“Sustainability is a priority at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and we are proud to be LEED Certified,” said Jeff Johnson, MCC executive director. “It is our responsibility, not only as meetings and events leaders, but also as citizens of the world, to think beyond the walls of our facility and how our actions impact the community at large.”

Johnson pointed out the example of the Mississippi River, which flows through downtown Minneapolis and serves as the backbone of the local community.

Last spring, the MCC completed a major sustainability effort to install a 250,000-gallon storm water system, which allows the facility to divert an estimated 5.4 million gallons of runoff rainwater annually from the river and redirect it to an underground storage system for the venue’s irrigation, he said.

“We strive to use our resources responsibly at the MCC, and it became clear we needed to take bold steps to change our primary source of irrigation among other efficiency efforts,” Johnson explained.

He added, “This mindset has become the cornerstone of our sustainability program and guides our efforts to be the best facility possible for our clients, our staff and the entire community.”

The MCC’s no-waste mentality also extends to working with a culinary partner that values sustainability and aligns with the facility’s mission.

“As we continue to push the needle to improve efficiencies and reduce waste, we are thrilled to have seasoned chef and Kelber Catering veteran John Doody at the helm as our newly named Executive Chef,” Johnson said. “His leadership and attention to detail will undoubtedly take the Minneapolis Convention Center’s culinary program to the next level.”

Additional examples of the facility’s ongoing sustainability initiatives include offsetting energy usage by 100 percent with solar and wind power; recycling 60 percent of waste in 2016; collecting 160 tons of organics for hog feed and composting; donating 4 tons of food per year and creating an inviting pollinator garden for bees, butterflies and other essential pollinators.

“Achieving LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices – it represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” explained Mahesh Ramanujam, USGBC president and CEO.

He continued, “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, the Minneapolis Convention Center demonstrates its leadership through their LEED certification of an existing building.”

To learn more about the Minneapolis Convention Center’s sustainability efforts, go here.

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