Rocky Mountain Green Partnership Brings Denver’s Top Sustainability Venues Together
Joining RMGVP as charter members are: Colorado Convention Center, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver Coliseum, Denver Zoo, Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, INVESCO Field at Mile High; Coors Field and Folsom Field at the University of Colorado.
Sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other state and local agencies, each of the 10 charter venues have pledged to practice environmental stewardship in nine areas:
1. Energy conservation and efficiency
2. Water conservation and efficiency
3. Responsible materials and waste management
4. Transportation and air quality
5. Green buildings
6. Local food and agriculture
7. Environmentally preferable purchasing
8. Green economy
9. Community connections
“Denver is committed to being green,” states Richard Scharf, president & CEO, VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This partnership is just another step to make ‘going green’ a city-wide venture in Denver.”
Scharf notes that VISIT DENVER was one of the first convention bureaus to create an online carbon calculator so convention delegates could offset their carbon footprint. “From the new 30,000 square feet of solar panels installed on the roof of the Colorado Convention Center to the ‘B-Cycle’ bike-sharing program that will make 500 rental bikes available for convention delegates this summer, Denver has been at the forefront of the green movement,” Scharf said.
Some of the city’s green efforts at meeting facilities include:
- The Colorado Convention Center (CCC): As one of the first public meeting venues to implement a permanent recycling program, the CCC now employs a full-time sustainable programs manager. The facility boasts a comprehensive greening program that has made major strides in energy efficiency, water conservation, waste stream reduction, air quality improvements, and an innovative program that assists meeting and event planners in hosting green meetings. The CCC is host to Colorado's newest solar-power system, a landmark public-private partnership that resulted in a 300 kW system spanning 30,000 square feet of the facility's rooftop, which launched March 17, 2009.
- Red Rocks Amphitheatre: This popular 9,000-seat arena that has hosted everyone from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen has the slogan: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock On!" With the implementation of recycling and composting programs, the venue’s waste stream has been reduced by 85 percent, with just 15 percent of the amphitheatre’s garbage now going to a landfill. The venue’s natural setting provides for a uniquely green atmosphere, and when combined with changes in the venue’s energy efficiency, water conservation, the use of green cleaning and paper products, as well as sustainable building materials, Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of the region’s most environmentally friendly cultural facilities.
- The Denver Performing Arts Complex: The second-largest arts center in the nation with 10 venues seating 10,000 people implemented the final stage of a permanent recycling program in August 2008 and is saving thousands of gallons of water annually with low-flow toilets and urinals. Thousands of light bulbs have been upgraded to energy-efficient models, and technologically obsolete incandescent marquees were replaced with LED models resulting in an 85 percent energy savings for the complex.
- Denver Hotels: All of downtown Denver’s hotels offer a recycling program and participate in a plan to reduce paper use; have staff trained to implement environmental practices; and each of the 8,300 hotel rooms provide a towel and sheet reuse program. More than 90 percent of the hotel rooms downtown shut down HVAC and lights when guests are not in the rooms, and use low-flow showerheads and toilets.
- Denver International Airport (DEN): The fifth busiest airport in the nation with more than 1,500 direct flights a day and 51 million annual passengers is considered one of the greenest air facilities in the nation. In 2004, DEN was the first commercial airport in the country to attain ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System; 64 percent of the airport fleet – 678 vehicles – are powered by alternative fuels; DEN recycles more than 20 different products, and solar panels at DEN generate more than 3.5 million kW-hours of electricity annually, which will reduce carbon emissions by more than 6.3 million pounds a year.
- Green Print Denver: This long-term, citywide initiative promotes the importance of sustainable development. The entire fleet of free shuttle buses on Denver’s mile-long 16th Street Mall are hybrid-fuel vehicles; B-Cycle, a citywide bike sharing program, will have 500 rental bikes available at 30 downtown stations by the summer of 2009; Denver is currently building 120-miles of new light-rail track, the largest light rail initiative in American history, and the city supports hybrid vehicle taxi cabs with more than 50 alternative-fuel taxis currently available with plans to convert the entire fleet by 2010. www.greenprintdenver.org
About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, generating $2.9 billion in annual spending in 2007, while supporting 65,000 jobs. For more information on Denver call 800-2-DENVER or visit Denver’s official Web site at VISITDENVER.com.
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