The Hub’s business model calls for sustainability. Why? Because the future of the meetings and events industry depends on it. Because the hospitality industry is in a good position to make a difference, as both consumers and as generators of waste. Our industry has already taken some key steps to be more sustainable. Our standardizing body, ASTD, has created a set of green standards.
We’ve had our own set of green standards since our incorporation in 2005. Here’s what we do to build sustainability into your meeting or event.
Our Cira Centre facility is the first-ever LEED Silver Rated Meeting and Event Facility in the U.S.
Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted standard for certifying high-performance green interiors that are healthy, productive places to work, are less costly to operate and maintain, and reduce environmental footprint. LEED promotes sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:
- Energy Efficiency
- Materials Selection
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Water Savings
- Sustainable Site Development
Although we’re proud to have earned LEED certification, it’s up to us to maintain the high standards set to us by the USGBC. Since not all of our three facilities are LEED-certified, we’ve taken the following steps to ensure sustainability across the board.
The Hub's Green Initiatives
Energy and Atmosphere
- The Hub is 100% wind powered, significantly reducing carbon emissions.
- The Hub's Cira Centre design team worked extra hard to ensure heating, cooling, lighting, hot water, and air flow systems work together in a highly energy efficient & cost effective way.
- We select more than 80% EPA Energy Star-rated office and kitchen equipment, reducing its overall energy requirements.
Materials and Resources
- In 2008, we discontinued the use of plastic water bottles in all of its facilities; all customers are now served purified, reverse osmosis water.
- We intend to remain in our spaces for at least ten years, eliminating the need for future renovation resources and waste. Our newest facility, Commerce Square, was renovated to be a more efficient conference center, not built from scratch.
- More than 15% of the new materials you see at The Hub aren't new. They were recycled.
- More than 20% of the materials you see at The Hub are of local origin (manufactured within 500 miles of the location).
- All of our printing is double-sided.
- We recycle. Aggressively.
Indoor Environmental Quality
- Many of today's building materials contain harmful chemicals we don't need inside our buildings and bodies. We choose building and decorating materials without those harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC's), making our indoor air quality as good as possible.
- High-efficiency lighting at all our facilities is flexible and has individual controls. The same goes for temperature control in conference rooms.
- Diffusion of natural daylight throughout all our facilities means we can use less electricity.
- We use organic cleaning products in most of our facilities.
- The Hub uses water efficient plumbing fixtures that save almost 100,000 gallons of water per year over standard plumbing fixtures.
- The Hub is constructed on a rehabilitated "brownfield" railyard, saving existing green spaces from development.
- The Cira Centre has a steep, sloped roof that is light in color to minimize urban "heat island" effects, reducing excess city heat during summer.
- The Hub is located conveniently near 30th Street Station to optimize our ability to use non-automobile, more carbon-neutral transportation modes.
Innovation and Design
- The Hub actively encourages its staff and clients to avoid CO2-emitting cars, when possible, through its internal policies.
- We participate in a car-sharing program that allows us to go between facilities with ease.
Friends and Partners
- The Hub is pleased to support the Philadelphia Zoo’s “Footprints” carbon offset projects. These projects help reduce global warming by planting trees that remove CO2 emissions already in the atmosphere. Because they are reforestation-based, they also provide valuable habitat for wildlife. We strongly encourage conference attendees to offset the carbon generated by their travel to and from The Hub as well as their own personal carbon footprints.
Tips and Tricks
You’re not always going to be able to hold your event at The Hub, although we’d welcome you if you did. Here are some ideas we’d like to see you thinking about, no matter where you’re gathering:
Food and Beverage
- Look at reducing portion sizes and amounts.
- Move towards seated meals verses buffets.
- Buy local.
- Ask the F & B department or off-site caterer to use local seasonal products.
- Reduce handouts and pre-conference materials by making use of attendees’ own tablets, laptops, or smartphones.
- Make post-conference materials available online.
- Check and see if the hotel has a dedicated TV channel to have meeting information broadcasted.
- Ensure all food / beverage / conference materials are recyclable and that they are recycled.
- Use pitcher water or water fountains with reusable or recyclable drinking glasses.
- Many hotels have composting capabilities. Compost what you can, or arrange to have compostables donated to local farmers.
- Donate excess foods to local food banks.