Recognized as an Environmental Leader
In August of 2015, South San Francisco Conference Center was certified GOLD under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EB: O&M) rating system. This GOLD certification is a result of a rigorous documentation and third-party review process conducted over a 19 month period and encompassing all aspects of building operations. By achieving GOLD certification under LEED, the South San Francisco Conference Center has joined an elite group of buildings in California and internationally recognized for outstanding sustainability performance and operational excellence.
South San Francisco Conference Center has been certified as a Bay Area Green Business. This certification was granted to South San Francisco Conference Center, because it has achieved exceptional standards of pollution prevention and conservation of natural resources. In addition, South San Francisco Conference Center has met strict environmental compliance requirements set forth by the California Green Business Program.
Sustainable South San Francisco Conference Center
Sustainable practices are at the heart of the South San Francisco Conference Center. In the following, we have outlined the many areas in which the Conference Center strives to achieve greater resource efficiency and sustainability. Our intent of sustainable programs is to promote and support operational and business practices which lessen adverse environmental impact, benefit the local community and make economic sense. The success achieved at the South San Francisco Conference Center is due to the close collaboration of numerous players including; our clients, Authority Board, staff, City of South San Francisco, contractors, attendees, exhibitors and anyone that does business with the Conference Center. We are proud members of the Green Meetings Industry Council.
The South San Francisco Conference Center has set the standards for Conference Centers in diverting material from the waste stream. Since opening the doors in April 1993, the Conference Center has and continues with diversion of high volume materials from the front office to the exhibit floor. The Conference Center stopped printing promotional brochures in 2002, instead we direct our customers to our website for detailed information on the services we offer. Our recycling program for employees and users has been in place since the early 2002; and all correspondence and agreements to clients are electronically sent to minimize paper usage.
California Catering Company is the exclusive catering company at the Conference Center. Our food composting program captures all organic material from food service operations. A kitchen-based composting program has been in place since 2007, use of compostable food serve ware products began in 2010 and compost collection from all public areas. Water stations with reusable water containers are utilized throughout the facility and are stocked with compostable cups.
The Conference Center has been a partner with www.ReCork.org since 2007 by recycling all food service cork. By supporting ReCORK’ s recycling program, the South San Francisco Conference Center is giving new life to perfectly good natural cork and is helping support their efforts in planting more cork trees throughout the world.
Purchasing and Contract Compliance
Policies and procedures place emphasis on sustainability in all purchasing activities here at the Conference Center. Contracts for major capital projects include provision for required tracking and reporting of diversion by material type for large scale contracts such as replacement of HVAC, carpeting, and lighting fixtures.
The South San Francisco Conference Center strongly supports and encourages its clientele to utilize public transportation or carpooling to the Conference Center. Since 2003, the Conference Center has provided complimentary shuttle service through Commute.org for attendees to utilize BART, Cal Train, and the San Francisco Bay Ferry. The Conference Center is also within walking distance of nearly 1,500 hotel rooms, giving planners and attendees the option to walk rather than drive or take a shuttle to their event. The Conference Center has also installed designed parking spots for alternative fuel vehicles, as well as encouraging employee participation in the Commuter Check program as a means of supporting transit use among the facility’s workforce.
Building operations is a large consumer of natural resources and a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In partnership with our clients, the Conference Center operates that is increasingly environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and is healthy for those who use it. The Conference Center works closely with Ecology Action to ensure we meet or exceed the practices to minimize the environmental impact on the area.
The Conference Center made a commitment to reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint. In 2014, an energy audit conducted by Ecology Action documented energy efficiency gains relative to historic performance, resulting in an estimated cumulative equivalent reduction of 1,381,700 lbs of CO2 since 2008. We are continuing to seek opportunities for reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency and have steadily used less energy every successive year since 2009. The total energy consumption (in kBtu) of 2014 was 64% of 2008.
Water Fixtures & Landscaping
In the Conference Center restrooms you will find high-efficiency faucets and urinals to minimize water consumption. Outside the building, we are in the process of converting all conventional landscaping to drought-tolerant vegetation with high-efficiency irrigation systems.
Sustainable Planning & Construction
In 2007, the Conference Center added 4,000 sq. ft. of meeting space to the facility. The new addition is a recyclable, prefabricated structure that utilizes natural lighting. If necessary, the structure can be torn down and relocated or completely recycled.
The Conference Center is committed to making our indoor environment as clean, safe and healthy as possible. To that end, we have implemented a facility-wide green cleaning program to ensure that cleaning chemicals and equipment are effective, safe for both janitorial staff and building visitors, and low-impact on the natural environment. We also use only paper products and trash bags that meet LEED standards for sustainability.
San Mateo County Sustainability Hub
The Sustainability Hub is a one-stop resource to find and share local solutions and resources to make your life, business and community more sustainable
San Mateo County Green Portal
The San Mateo County Green Portal is focusing on strategies for public agencies, companies and individuals seeking ways to improve the environment.
Promotes safe handling of waste throughout California. Explains state regulations about safe disposal of toxic materials. Includes news links, educational materials, and links to a Cal EPA Environmental Complaint form to report unsafe disposal practices.
San Mateo County Energy Watch
San Mateo County Energy Watch provides energy efficiency services and retrofits and will work with you (Public agencies and non-profits in San Mateo County that are PG&E customers) to identify projects with a payback that works for your budget.
San Mateo Countywide Guide: Sustainable Buildings
A countywide committee developed this guide to encourage builders, architects, and owners to design and construct buildings that are friendly to the environment and community. This guide provides illustrations and information on how to implement many Building practices and measures.
Electronic Waste Management
Sustainable development was defined in the 1987 Brundtland Report as development that "meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."