From becoming a member of the Convene Green Alliance to initiating a plan to build a sustainable economy, San Antonio is committed to upholding environmental best practices for its meeting attendees, as well as its leisure visitors and residents.
“Being green is a priority for San Antonio, where city leaders have outlined an ambitious future of environmental policy that includes an independent office of sustainability," says Scott White, Executive Director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. "In fact, the city has endorsed an aggressive goal of a future carbon-free convention center.”
Below are just a few ways San Antonio has gone green, but stay tuned for even more positive moves in the near future.
• San Antonio is a proud member of the Convene Green Alliance, a grassroots initiative that seeks to lessen the impact organizations and their events have on the environment. The alliance, spearheaded by associations like the National Recycling Coalition and the American Wind Energy Association, provides information and support to groups looking to create green policies and reduce their environmental footprints.
• Former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger unveiled his Mission Verde plan to make the city an alternative energy leader. The plan includes expanding the city’s renewable energy sources and setting forth a new green building code. Mayor Hardberger also wants to see 250,000 new trees planted across San Antonio, already one of the country’s top cities for urban green spaces.
• The City of San Antonio’s Office of Environmental Policy has a new website, with information on the city’s air quality, hike and bike program, and other environmental practices.
• At the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, the city is fortunate to work with some of the most eco-friendly partners in the country, including catering, decorators, exhibitors, the business center and more. "Through our combined efforts, we are able to recycle, reuse or repurpose everything from cardboard to banners to telephones," said Scott Munson, General Manager of Sports & Entertainment Facilities at the convention center. "We are dedicated to doing our part to help meeting professionals achieve a successful green meeting in San Antonio.”
• Holiday Inn/Westover Hills, San Antonio’s first official “green” hotel, opened in October 2009. One of a handful of projects in the city seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, the hotel has everything from a rainwater-harvesting system to water its native landscape to organic soap in its 194 guest rooms. Other features include low-flow showerheads and toilets to cut down on water use, and bike storage for guests and employees.
• Another San Antonio hotel, the Holiday Inn Select San Antonio, has conserved 13 tons of paper through recycling.
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