Philadelphia: A Destination for Green Meetings

Race Street Pier, on the Delaware River Waterfront directly under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, is within easy walking distance of Center City and the Pennsylvania Convention Center.


The Pennsylvania Convention Center is an LEED gold certified facility, but that’s just part of Philadelphia’s city-wide green initiative. The program, known as “Greenworks Philadelphia,” is intended to make Philadelphia the greenest urban city in the United States. Check out these highlights:

  • Historically Green: Ever since William Penn designed Philadelphia to be a “Greene Country Towne,” squares, parks and open spaces have been a benefit for residents and visitors alike.
  • Green Building Examples: Philadelphia is home to one of the tallest Green buildings in the world, the LEED-certified Comcast Center, as well as the LEED Gold-certified Pennsylvania Convention Center. Philadelphia-based Liberty Property Trust has 61 LEED-certified projects under construction and Philadelphia’s newest cultural treasure on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Barnes Foundation housing the priceless art collection of Dr. Albert Barnes, is LEED certified. Philadelphia took another huge step in the green direction recently as the Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts was certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as the first public high school in the nation to reach LEED‘s Platinum level.
  • Pennsylvania Convention Center: In 2011, our Convention Center earned LEED gold certification, in part due to initiatives that address air quality, waste minimization, energy efficiency and water conservation and procurement.
  • Promoting Green Meeting Planning: Philadelphia hosted its first paperless convention in 2010 and continues to encourage meeting planners to “Go Green” by using customized micro sites and e-blasts for paperless conference promotion.
  • Green Hotel Services: Philadelphia hotels stay green by saving energy in every way possible. Our top hotels make it a priority to recycle, use eco-friendly cleaning products, offer linen-reuse programs and use computerized energy-management systems. Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar is Philadelphia is the City’s first LEED gold-certified hotel.
  • Serving Green Foods: Restaurants, farmers’ markets and food providers continue to support organic, sustainable and locally grown produce. PCCA Culinary Services by Aramark/SFS, the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s exclusive food-and-beverage provider, uses plates, cups, cutlery and napkins made from 100 percent decompostable and biodegradable materials.
  • Accessibility Makes for Green Travel: Whether you’re flying into Philadelphia International Airport or hopping on a SEPTA bus downtown, Philadelphia’s regional transportation network and walkability helps us to go green. The City also has more than 200 miles of bike lanes.
  • Working to be the Greenest City in America: Philadelphia is becoming an eco-leader through “Greenworks Philadelphia,” an ambitious six-year plan to be the most environmentally friendly urban city in the country by 2015. After three years, Philadelphia has reduced energy usage, improved air quality and planted hundreds of trees.
  • Businesses Support Green: Between the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and the Comcast Center, Philadelphia’s businesses and buildings place a high premium on being green.
  • Organizations Lead the Way: From the first and most ecofriendly sports franchise in the country – the Philadelphia Eagles had the first “Go Green program in the NFL, including the installation of solar panels and wind mills at the practice facilities and stadium – to energy-saving museums and a carbon-offset program at the Philadelphia Zoo, green is part of the City’s culture. The Morris Arboretum is constructing a new building, which is expected to achieve platinum-level LEED certification.
  • Green Community: Going green starts with people, and Philadelphia’s volunteer organizations support the cause. For example, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has run Philadelphia Green, the nation’s most comprehensive urban greening program, since 1974. The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) sponsors “Buy Local Philly,” a campaign to support local independent businesses.

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