EIC and OVG Unveil Ambitious Venue Sustainability Partnership

May 2, 2024

The Events Industry Council (EIC) has formed a strategic sustainability partnership with venue development, hospitality services and solutions provider Oak View Group (OVG) to certify its entire convention portfolio of more than 60 venues in cities like Chicago, Dallas and Miami.

OVG’s convention center portfolio will be certified in accordance with the EIC Sustainable Event Standards, a collection of eight specific standards that assess events and industry suppliers on a wide range of sustainability criteria that support environmental and social responsibility.  

The partnership — the largest of its kind in scale, according to OVG officials — will allow the OVG convention center portfolio to deepen its commitment to sustainability and better support the green meeting and exhibition goals of its clients and partners.

“Oak View Group is excited about this partnership because it provides real resources and support to our convention centers,” said Greg O’Dell, OVG president of venue management. “These include opportunities to be recognized for their individual sustainability efforts and professional education to equip convention centers with sustainability support.” 

To be certified under the Venue standard, the convention centers’ compliance with the EIC Sustainable Event Standards will be evaluated by EIC’s independent third-party auditing partner, Alliance for Audited Media, in the following areas: 

  • Organizational Management
  • Marketing, Communication and Engagement
  • Climate Action
  • Water Management
  • Materials and circularity
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Accessibility
  • Social Impact

How it will work


Taking place in a phased approach, the EIC certification program will begin implementation at OVG-managed venues, including the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC), Chicago’s McCormick Place, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas and the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The process is already underway at the MBCC, with McCormick Place, which is already EIC-certified at the Bronze level, soon to follow, according to OVG officials.  

This process will work in concert with the GOAL (Green Operations & Advanced Leadership) platform, a partnership between OVG, Fenway Sports Group, Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena and green building architect Jason F. McLennan designed to provide a comprehensive roadmap, tracking tools, case studies, collaborative workshops and best practices to help sports and entertainment venues operate more sustainably, according to EIC officials.  

By supporting continuous data collection and analysis across the convention center portfolio, GOAL will play a key role in helping properties reach their sustainability objectives through best practice sharing, measurement tools and onsite consulting, according to OVG officials.

Why it matters

EIC-OVG Partnership
(From left to right) Greg O’Dell, President of Venue Management, Oak View Group; Chandra Allison, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Growth - Conventions, Meetings and Exhibitions, Oak View Group; Amy Calvert, President and CEO, Events Industry Council; Chris Granger, President - OVG360, Oak View Group

“Congratulations to the Events Industry Council and the Oak View Group,” said Richard Murphy, president of Alliance for Audited Media. “This partnership will accelerate innovation and growth for the entire industry. We applaud the Oak View Group management team for taking a leadership role on sustainable venues, embracing transparency and accountability supported by third-party validation.”  

The partnership is also expected to spur more EIC initiatives throughout OVG event venues, including Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and Sustainable Event Professional Certification (SEPC) training and other learning and development programs, according to EIC officials. Additionally, the partnership provides OVG with strategic recognition and thought leadership opportunities to collaborate with EIC on its CMP, CMP Fellows and sustainability programs. 

“The partnership is grounded in our shared goals of promoting event industry excellence, advancing uniform standards of practice and setting the highest standards for professional and personal growth for those in our industry,” said Amy Calvert, president and CEO of EIC. “We are thrilled to work with Oak View Group to certify their convention centers to EIC’s Sustainable Events Standards. This work will benefit our industry and the countless event professionals we serve.”

Related: Women At The Helm: Amy Calvert, President & CEO, Events Industry Council

Have some trade show-related sustainability news to share? Reach out to lisa.savas@informa.com.


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