The Greenbuild Greening Committee reaches out to L.A. businesses
The Greenbuild Greening Committee talked sustainability with business owners near the convention center.
The 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (Greenbuild) is approaching quickly, and downtown Los Angeles is already feeling its presence. This year’s Greening Committee, a subcommittee of the iconic Greenbuild Host Committee, is working diligently to bring the spirit of sustainability and green building to the vicinity of the Los Angeles Convention Center, which will serve as home base for the conference October 5–7.
The mission of the Greening Committee is to educate local businesses and the hospitality sector that are in a 1.5-mile radius of the downtown Convention Center on ways for them to “green” their operations. These efforts promote sustainable methods through the step-by-step guidelines of a “Greening Toolkit” that was created by the Committee.
The Toolkit helps hotels and businesses connect with local programs, such as the Los Angeles Green Business Program and Green Lodging Program. It provides insight on how to incorporate easy strategies that aid in saving energy and water within typical operations—even which cleaning supplies to use. The Greening Committee spreads the word on these methods to the local community, which serves as a significant aid in contributing to Greenbuild’s impact in the area.
The Greening Committee was broken down into 11 pairs, and each pair was assigned to a specific walk zone within the 1.5-mile radius. My partner and I dedicated our day to approaching as many hotels and businesses as possible, making our rounds in the bustling area of Pershing Square, a mile northeast of the Convention Center. We approached large and small operations, ranging from “Mom and Pop” convenience stores to rooftop lounges. The employees and managers we spoke with positively accepted the Toolkits, and everyone had interest in greening their operations. We were impressed at how many people were aware of Greenbuild’s arrival in the fall. We discussed city programs they could easily participate in and sustainable methods to incorporate with employee training. In addition, we suggested simple fixes such as what they could be recycling instead of sending to the landfill.
Left to right: Caroline Ingalls, HBA; Joanne Choi, Cydone Energy Group; Fred, Manager, Pitchoun Bakery
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Southern California Gas Company, the local utilities, were also generous enough to provide the Committee with extra materials to distribute, such as literature on their rebates and incentives, faucet aerators and shower timers. On average, each pair of Greening Committee members connected with 10 hotels or businesses during their outreach.
After the pair of Greening Committee members completed their outreach around downtown Los Angeles, about one hundred hotels and businesses were contacted, and many are already well on their way to incorporating new sustainability strategies. It was great fun to talk with local businesses about their current practices and how they can do better. The interest in incorporating sustainable methods of operation in downtown Los Angeles and beyond is steadily increasing, and Greenbuild is going to have an impact greater than ever before.