Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Virginia Beach Steps Up Green Commitment

The Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is aggressively positioning its East Coast location as a green destination and justifiably so. The hospitality industry there recently exceeded its goal to certify 100 businesses with the Virginia Green program; 42 percent of the city's hotel rooms are now represented in the program. The CVB is actively pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for the Convention Center and expects to achieve the designation by spring 2010.

The Virginia Beach CVB recently became the first Platinum business member of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), the leading global organization for sustainability in the meetings industry. The CVB also joined the Convene Green Alliance, a nonprofit industry initiative spearheaded by several high-profile associations that seek to affect positive environmental practices through national, regional and local outreach and education.

As a partner in the EPA's Energy Star program for two years, the Virginia Beach Convention Center has reduced energy consumption significantly. From July 2008 to June 2009, the Convention Center used 49 percent less power, gas and water. This includes a savings of 2.2 million kilowatts of electricity and 468,000 gallons of water.

Virginia Beach's green initiatives include a social responsibility partnership with United Way, an oceanfront recycling program, and, in partnership with Hampton Roads Transit, the city offers hybrid-electric buses that replaced the old trolleys as the oceanfront's seasonal service.

All of these efforts are all good reasons for meeting planners and others to consider Virginia Beach as a travel destination. Check out www.virginiabeachgreen.com to learn more.

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