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The Green Facts about the Brown

Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center earned LEED Silver certification for an existing building in 2011 and renewed the certification in 2017 through 2021.  The certification requires GRB operations to save energy, minimize water usage, reduce CO2 emissions, recycle waste materials and maintain high standards for indoor environmental quality and operate the building as efficiently as possible. See below for a comprehensive list of how the Brown integrates environmental and social sustainability everyday.

Sustainable Energy Usage
Recycling Receptacles
Gasoline Conservation
Ink Cartridge Recycling
Paperless Filing Systems
Plastic Recycling
Food and Beverage
Sustainable Garden
Compostable Food and Products
Construction

Sustainable Energy Usage
In 2008, the EPA placed the City of Houston on its national list of “Top 25 Largest Green Power Purchasers.” In, fact, about 20 percent of all energy purchased by the City of Houston comes from green power, which in Texas is 99 percent wind energy.

Recycling Receptacles
Recycle bins for paper, plastics, compost and aluminum are steps away in all offices and public spaces.

Gasoline Conservation
Incentive programs are in place for staff to carpool or use the METRO Park and Ride or the METRO Rail System.

Ink Cartridge Recycling
Recycle used ink cartridges and sharing community printers rather than personal printers at each desk.

Paperless Filling Systems
Numerous internal reports and traditional paper filing systems have been converted to electronic files, allowing for storage and retrieval without the need for printing.

Plastic Recycling
A recycling program for all plastics used at the convention center, including sheet plastic, plastic wrap, cups, bottles, buckets and building materials, among others.

Food and Beverage
The GRB utilizes compostable food and beverage containers that turn back into soil in approximately 45 to 90 days, dramatically reducing the waste stream.
These items include:

  • Eco Products™: Corn cups, lids and straws that look and feels like regular plastics, but are made from renewable resources (100 percent US-grown corn).
  • Eco Product™: Hot cups and lids like “comfort cups,” which are lined with heat-stable, vegetable base coating that allows for commercial composting.
  • Eco Products™: Cutlery includes medium weight, heat stable, commercially compostable forks, knives and spoons made from corn and vegetable base plastics.
  • Eco Products™: Food containers made from renewable resources, including corn.
  • Eco Products™: Sugar Cane plates and bowls that are made from sugar cane, a 100 percent renewable resource.

Sustainable Garden
The GRB Chef Grows micro-greens in a designated area for garnishes.

Compostable Food and Products
GRB composts more than 140 tons of compostable products and food waste. Moving toward 100% compostable recycling.

Construction
Contractors have collected more than 569 tons of recoverable construction and demolition materials and have diverted 297 tons of concrete, 152 tons of steel and recycle 80% of construction debris away from landfills.