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SDCC Chef in field

Greenlight on San Diego Convention Center Sustainability Efforts

Green Business Network - a worker holds a volleyball with a map of the world printed on it.

The Green Business Network is a group of waterfront businesses who are all tenants and subtenants of the Port of San Diego. The Green Business Network, a voluntary sustainability program that provides free education and resources to businesses along San Diego Bay, is committed to growing business and reducing environmental impacts. We collaborate with members like the San Diego Convention Center on training opportunities and supply resources to help them improve operational efficiency and implement sustainable business practices that keep our bay blue.


San Diego Convention Center with palm trees

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) is a non-profit public benefit corporation created by the City of San Diego to manage, market and operate the San Diego Convention Center. It is the region’s premier gathering place for hosting conventions, trade shows and community events that economically benefit the City of San Diego and advance our convention and tourism industry. The San Diego Convention Center is a key member of the Network and has integrated sustainability into their daily business practices in a variety of ways.

Here are some highlights of their sustainable achievements:

  • The outdoor landscaping team uses drip irrigation, drought-tolerant plants and mulch to reduce watering, saving resources and reducing the chance that there will be any run-off into the bay. 
  • 100% of the cardboard received from various deliveries is recycled. During Comic-Con 2018 alone, that totaled 50 tons! Additionally, 1,278 tons of waste generated was diverted from landfills in Fiscal Year 2018. 
  • There are no garbage disposals in the Convention Center kitchens. As a result, 125 tons of non-edible food scraps were composted in Fiscal Year 2018. 
  • Disposable containers used for catering are sustainably sourced and biodegradable. A custom-fabricated on-site recycling sorting system is used to separate all recyclable and compostable materials to reach a goal of diverting 75% of materials away from landfills by 2020. 
  • In the Fiscal Year of 2018, over 72 tons of untouched food was donated to the San Diego Rescue Mission – that was enough to plate 115,000 meals. 
  • 100% of lights in the San Diego Convention Center exhibit halls and those used to illuminate the iconic Sails Pavilion are LEDs. 
  • The food and beverage teams purchase produce and protein from within a 150-mile radius of the building whenever possible, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions released while transporting goods. 
San Diego Convention Center kitchen staff

The executive management team at the San Diego Convention Center develops best practices to minimize the impact of events globally as part of the International Association of Venue Managers Sustainability Committee. However, it is the work of each and every employee committing fully to a greener convention center, bluer bay and vibrant life that makes it all come together. At the Green Business Network, we know it takes Greenwork to make the Dream Work - the dream of having San Diego Bay stay a vital natural resource for future generations.

The Port of San Diego thanks the Convention Center because green communities don’t just happen. We make them happen together!