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Built for Big Groups and Bigger Ideas: Get to Know Portland’s LEED Platinum Oregon Convention Center

Oregon Convention Center exterior

Nestled in Portland’s City Center, the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) is a shining example of versatility, accessibility and sustainability, making it the perfect choice for your next conference.

As one of the largest convention centers in the region, the OCC spans 478,000 square feet of total event space, including 255,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space. It features two grand ballrooms, 52 meeting rooms, three VIP suites and two outdoor plazas. Conveniently located next door is the 600-room Hyatt Regency at the Oregon Convention Center, which opened in winter 2019.

MLK lobby with modern artwork
Lobby with modern artwork at Oregon Convention Center

$2 million of Pacific Northwest-inspired artwork adorns the light-filled OCC interior, and the rooms are equipped with the latest AV technology to allow for the seamless execution of tradeshows, conventions, galas, meetings and nearly anything you can dream up! A flexible and knowledgeable partner in the planning process, the OCC staff fully supports meeting planners and easily adapts as your needs change.  

One of the Most Sustainable Convention Centers in the Country 

Oregon Convention Center interior
Oregon Convention Center interior

The OCC has a well-deserved reputation for putting sustainability first. Its commitment to environmental responsibility, its modern design and its flexibility make it an ideal space for conferences that leave a lasting impression, while minimizing environmental impact. The venue is carefully designed and operated to prioritize energy efficiency, water conservation, waste diversion and food and waste reduction, for an overall reduced environmental footprint.  

The OCC earned LEED certification in 2004, making it the first existing convention center to be recognized for such an achievement. In 2014, the center earned LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of recognition.  

Reducing Energy and Waste

Rain garden at Oregon Convention Center
Rain garden at Oregon Convention Center

Reducing energy consumption is no small task, especially for a large-scale event space. To make the most of Portland’s sunny days, the OCC has a powerful array of over 6,500 solar panels which produce roughly 25% of the facility's electricity. An abundance of natural light in the design of the center has offset a considerable need for artificial lighting, and about 80% of the remaining light fixtures have been upgraded to improve their efficiency.  

The OCC is also dedicated to water conservation and watershed stewardship. The center's Salmon-Safe Certified rain garden features Pacific Northwest native plants that help filter rainwater and improve stormwater management. By filtering out particulates, the rain garden cleanses water before it drains into the Willamette River, assisting in the preservation of the surrounding ecosystem.

This dedication to water conservation goes hand in hand with waste reduction. The OCC continues to grow its waste diversion programs for both building and food waste, including recycling and composting to minimize impact on landfills. Already, the OCC has been able to divert 66% of materials from the landfill through extensive recycling, composting, donation and reuse efforts.  

Knowing that the majority of environmental impact comes from production and transportation, the OCC is also working towards a more sustainable supply chain. By building seasonal catering menus around locally sourced ingredients, the center supports local producers and reduces its carbon footprint while also introducing attendees to the fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest.  

The venue also has a sustainability coordinator who partners with meeting planners and local organizations to facilitate the donation of food and other reusable materials for the benefit of both the surrounding community and the environment.

Making Your Conference Sustainable  

Oregon Convention Center exterior
Oregon Convention Center exterior

The OCC’s sustainability initiatives don’t stop at its infrastructure and policies. It's also committed to encouraging and supporting meeting planners and attendees to adopt more sustainable practices. From aiding in the sorting and disposal of recyclables to reducing paper waste and assisting with food and item donation, the OCC goes above and beyond to ensure that every event leaves a lighter footprint.  

To encourage a more sustainable commute, the center offers four electric vehicle charging stations and plenty of bike parking for attendees and organizers. It also boasts a convenient location right next to the MAX light rail and Portland Streetcar platforms.  

The OCC’s holistic, guided approach makes sustainable practices more approachable and achievable for meeting planners and attendees, so you can feel good about choosing Portland as your conference destination.

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