What is the most impressive or eye-catching ‘green’ feature of your facility?
Our one-megawatt solar array that is located on the roof of the North/South building is a signature feature of our facility. When it was installed in 2009, it was the largest solar rooftop system in the southeast United States. A total of 5,800 solar panels are divided into four 250 kilowatt sub-arrays and cover approximately 150,000 square feet on the roof of the South concourse. We also have four nominal 10-kilowatt “experimental” PV systems at the North/South building that were selected to demonstrate various promising PV technologies, including thin-film laminate, micro-inverter, bi-facial, and PV thermal.

How important do you think your sustainability elements are to groups and planners holding events there?
The degree of importance that show managers place on our center’s sustainability initiatives varies from event to event. Some show managers are extremely conscientious about mitigating any type of negative environmental impacts their event may bring, include sustainability as part of their key strategic goals, and would not even consider holding their event at our center if we were not engaged in sustainability efforts.

Groups and planners have sought sustainability related services in the past, but we are always seeking to improve and are now able to offer a more comprehensive sustainable event package. This is important to attendees and planners from a financial, environmental and social standpoint—the triple bottom line of people, planet, profit. OCCC works closely with event organizers and guests to support and execute green events, procedures, and efforts. As the Sustainability Coordinator, I am on-site, managing all in-house sustainability efforts and assisting with any client needs or requests, including researching local opportunities for carbon offset coordination.

A social example is our Reusable Donations program. OCCC works with each of our clients to ensure that any leftover food and/or products after an event or show are donated to local schools, hospitals or other nonprofit organizations to benefit the surrounding communities of Central Florida. We partner with local businesses through Green Destination Orlando, working together to enhance the destination as a whole. This effort is well received by our clients and our community.