The SAVOR…Chicago team partnered with the nation’s largest healthcare tradeshow Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) for their 2012 annual meeting at McCormick Place to reduce the event’s carbon footprint and environmental impact.
SAVOR…Chicago is an industry leader implementing green standards and environmentally sustainable practices in day-to-day operations at McCormick Place, North America’s largest exhibition and meeting facility. When the RSNA held its 98th annual meeting Nov. 25-30 at McCormick Place, the association diverted more than 244 tons of materials from landfill and donated 2,100 pounds of food to a local food bank.
“We worked closely with RSNA to help them achieve their goal of reducing waste and purchasing responsibly and executed a number of green initiatives at RSNA this year that we expect to become the new green standard for tradeshows at McCormick Place and across the nation,” said Connie Chambers, general manager of food and beverage, SAVOR…Chicago. “Working with a partner like RSNA that is committed to environmental stewardship is very satisfying and helps us all to feel good about reducing our impact on the environment.”
SAVOR…Chicago green initiatives with RSNA included:
• Eliminating the use of Styrofoam and polystyrene plastic products.
• Using biodegradable flatware, straws, serving dishes and cups in all food courts.
• Donating all excess food to a local food bank.
• Meeting Marine Stewardship Council sourcing guidelines for 100 percent of seafood purchases.
• Use of herbs and vegetables grown in the west building’s rooftop garden.
• Converting 100 percent of used cooking grease to bio-fuel with 126 gallons of grease recycled.
• Recycling and composting in post-consumer locations, including in the south food court.
• Out of 41.64 tons of garbage, 20.5 tons were diverted from the landfill.
“The Radiological Society of North America is dedicated to planning and practicing ways to minimize the impact our annual meeting may have on the environment,” said Janet Cooper, director of convention operations, RSNA. “SAVOR…Chicago’s on-going commitment to serve the community with food donations and to support and encourage sustainable practices align with RSNA’s mission. We applaud their efforts.”
Operationally, SAVOR…Chicago has introduced changes large and small to its daily and special events creating programs focused on purchasing locally produced food, using non-petroleum-based products, enhanced recycling and waste composting whenever possible. Atop McCormick Place’s West Building, the SAVOR team can be found cultivating a two-acre rooftop garden used for harvesting herbs and vegetables to create homemade pesto and herb rubs while at the same time reducing the building’s heat-island effect.