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Chicago's McCormick Place is one of more than 60 North American convention centers managed by Oak View Group.

Major Facility Operator to Implement, Verify Sustainability

OakView Group’s 60-plus North American convention centers will institute standards from the Events Industry Council and become certified in sustainable practices.

The Events Industry Council recently partnered with Oak View Group (OVG), a manager of sports arenas, live-entertainment venues, and more than 60 convention centers in the U.S. and Canada, to eventually certify OVG’s entire convention portfolio as compliant with EIC’s Sustainable Event Standards.

The OVG portfolio includes McCormick Place in Chicago, Miami Beach Convention Center, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, and Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.
Smaller OVG facilities include those in Cincinnati, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; Santa Clara, Calif.; St. Charles, Mo.; Tulsa, Okla.; and other areas.

The EIC Sustainable Event Standards are a collection of eight standards, each for a different group: venues, event hosts, food and beverage vendors, audiovisual and production vendors, general-services contractors, and others. OVG will focus on the venue criteria but each of its centers will engage its vendors as well as event hosts on their criteria for supporting environmental and social responsibility.

Working through OVG’s Green Operations & Advanced Leadership (GOAL) initiative, the new partnership will implement EIC standards throughout OVG convention centers, including training venue employees for the Sustainable Event Professional Certification and the Certified Meeting Professional designation. GOAL will engage in ongoing data collection and analysis across all venues and help properties reach their sustainability objectives through best-practice sharing, measurement tools, and on-site consulting.

In addition, an outside group, the Alliance for Audited Media, will confirm that OVG facilities are properly documenting their progress in order to become EIC certified.

“We are excited about this partnership because it provides real resources and support to our convention centers,” said Greg O’Dell, president of venue management for Oak View Group. “These include opportunities for each center to be recognized for its sustainability efforts and professional education to provide our centers with more sustainability support.”

“This partnership will accelerate innovation and growth for the entire events industry,” said Richard Murphy, president, Alliance for Audited Media. “We applaud OVG’s management team for taking a leadership role on sustainable venues while embracing transparency and accountability supported by third-party validation.” 


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