Green Initiatives

We are committed to enhancing our sustainable practices at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, with our primary goal being to reduce our carbon impact on the environment while being the best stewards we can be with our resources. Our current green initiatives include:

WASTE REDUCTION

The HBGCC has been diverting the following items since 2006:

  • Cardboard (a strict cardboard recycling policy is in effect for all decorators/contractors. The recycling compactors are easily accessed and clearly marked. Any vendor found placing cardboard in the trash dumpster is notified of the violation and asked to comply.)
  • Polyurethane foam (carpet padding)
  • Wooden pallets
  • Scrap metal
  • Paper
  • Glass (such as juice, water or soft drink bottles labeled with a recycling code of 1 or 2)
  • Plastic (such as water & soft drink bottles labeled with a recycling code of 1 or 2)
  • Aluminum
  • In 2009 we invested $118 thousand dollars in new recycling containers and other program enhancements including 2 new single stream recycling compactors.
  • From July 2009 to December 2013 the total tonnage diverted from landfill exceeded 532 tons

Other Items recycled by our business partners include:

  • Telephones (Smart City)
  • Cables and wire (Smart City)
  • Toner cartridges (UPS Store)

ENERGY CONSERVATION

Convention Center staff practices stringent energy conservation. Lights, air conditioning, escalators are kept at reduced or off settings when areas of the building are not in use. Upgraded the building controls system allowing for better scheduling of building systems

The department has executed a Performance Contracting initiative. This initiative is utilizing expert recommendations to help the Convention Center maximize its conservation efforts and realize savings that come with system efficiencies. The initial energy audit was completed in early 2010 and the implementation phase completed in October 2011. Items installed to improve our energy efficiencies include.

  • Upgraded lighting fixtures and ballasts
  • Solar thermal window film
  • Improved HVAC components and control systems

Ultimate goals are to:

  • Reduced electrical consumption of the building by 35%
  • Obtain future LEED certification

WATER CONSERVATION

  • Low-flow touch-less automatic faucets and dual flush valves have been installed in all restrooms
  • Drought tolerant plants are used around the Convention Center

GREEN PURCHASING

  • Recycled garbage bags (100% recycled material)
  • Toilet paper and hand towels (recycled material)
  • Micro fiber mop heads (these mop heads can be washed and reused)
  • Recycled copy paper is used
  • Green cleaning chemicals (biodegradable, non-toxic, eco-friendly and non-corroding)

OTHER PRACTICES

  • City of San Antonio Bike Sharing Program (stations are located in front and back of the Convention Center)
  • Meeting planner(s) can arrange to utilize composting bins. Requires partnership with our caterer (The RK Group) to ensure food waste is properly segmented.
  • Other recycling practices and opportunities with our caterer include:
    • Disposables – as often as possible, disposable cups will be replaced with reusable mugs and/or eco-friendly products. Disposable cutlery will be replaced with reusable silverware and/or cornstarch compostables. Napkins will be replaced with cloth napkins and/or 100% recycled paper napkins
    • Coffee Filters – we use commercial coffee brewers that do not use filters. Liquid concentrate coffee is used and aluminum containers are recycled
    • Food Donations – any prepared food not served from convention meals (within established guidelines) will be donated to local food banks for distribution to those less fortunate. Food donations are provided to Daily Bread Ministries and the San Antonio Food Bank, with an average of 1000 meals a month
    • When available, we will use locally grown purveyors or fair trade products, depending on seasonal allowances
    • Member of the Convene Green Alliance

CITY OF SAN ANTONIO

  • RENEWABLE ENERGY OFFSETS

Through our "Green Events" Ordinance, the City now has the ability to offer event planners an option of purchasing Renewable Energy Credits from San Antonio’s energy provider, CPS Energy.
Windtricity is CPS Energy’s renewable energy program (www.cpsenergy.com/Windtricity) that enables your event to purchase clean, renewable power from West Texas and coastal wind farms. The cost to purchase for your event is $65 per day for medium-scale events (1000 to 2000 attendees) and $130 per day for large-scale events (2000+ attendees). A renewable energy certification letter will be provided after payment. Any credits purchased will belong to the City of San Antonio as they are applied to the City’s utility account.

Payment can be made to:

City of San Antonio
Attn: Green Event - Renewable Energy
Office of Environmental Policy
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, Texas 78283-3966

Renewable Energy provided by
CPS Energy Logo

  • SA2020 INITIATIVE

The City of San Antonio has made a substantial commitment to the greening of our community via the SA2020 Initiative. The mission of SA2020 is to catalyze the entire San Antonio community into passionate, focused, and sustained action to achieve the shared goals that will transform San Antonio into a world-class city by the year 2020 in eleven key vision areas including “Environmental Sustainability”. Initiative includes:

  • Build a 21st Century urban energy infrastructure in San Antonio
  • Create a multi-tech venture capital fund in San Antonio
  • Create a Green Jobs program
  • Adopt a green, high performance building code for new residential and commercial construction
  • Build a Green Retrofit Program for existing homes and buildings
  • Create an integrated efficient multi-modal transportation system for San Antonio
  • Municipal Facility Tree Planting
  • Employee Sustainability Education Program

For more information pertaining to the City's SA2020 initiative, please go to http://www.sa2020.org.