Signature Boston Blog
Creating a Cleaner, Greener Future (Part I: Facilities)

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) supports sustainability initiatives that help create a cleaner, greener future. In the first part of our three-part series on sustainability practices, let’s explore aspects of daily operations at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and Hynes Convention Center (Hynes) that contribute to sustainable facilities.

In 2016, the BCEC was certified LEED Silver by the U.S Green Building Council, an internationally adopted “green building” rating system that evaluates a building’s environmental footprint through resource consumption, waste management practices, and overall operational efficiency. The MCCA has continued to make Boston's Convention Centers more sustainable and energy efficient, with continual upgrades to both the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center.

Our sustainability efforts are overseen by MCCA Energy & Sustainability Manager Deirdre Manning, who brings years of experience in policy development, management, and advocacy for comprehensive sustainability programs.

A key aspect of sustainability is waste management, which starts in-house with waste exports. Throughout conventions and day-to-day work, waste is generated everywhere in the form of trash and recyclables. For trash collection (food wrappers, foam, plastic film, etc.), the MCCA partners with Allied Republic.

Recycling is a more complicated process. We give our customers choices in how they want to recycle, as some wish to go above and beyond city requirements. Yet, at the end of every day, no matter the event, our facilities comply with standard Boston recycling measures with sorting done by in-house waste experts. The sorted waste is picked up and sent to waste management partner Save That Stuff.

The BCEC boasts a waste diversion rate of 47%, meaning instead of waste ending up in landfills, it goes to centers like Save That Stuff to be converted to energy. In addition to converting recyclables into energy, Save That Stuff is also creating new materials, such as recycled paper and Styrofoam products. Save That Stuff offered a tour of its facilities to our convention center team; learn more and see the process here!

Both the BCEC and the Hynes have received building investment and upgrades to create greener facilities. Over the past 5 years, Boston’s Convention Centers have conserved over 7.74 million kWh via these energy saving measures:

  • Central Control System: This system controls all energy-consuming devices like lights, LCD digital screens, and even escalators. This system runs on a timer and shuts off the power to certain areas of the building when not needed, helping to save 1.1 million kWh.
  • LED lighting across all buildings: More energy efficient than halogen lighting.
  • State-of-the-art Lutron Lighting Systems throughout the BCEC and Hynes: All meeting rooms are equipped with sensor-controlled lights, which automatically shut off when there is no activity in the room.
  • Lighting and HVAC are reduced during show move-in and move-out.
  • Projects and programs are also in the works beyond the walls of our convention centers. Adjacent to the BCEC is an urban garden with flowers and vegetables that promotes pollination and encourages healthy eating. The garden is also full of gorgeous flowers and milkweed for monarch butterflies to lay their eggs.

Sustainability measures are a focus of the daily operating strategy of the MCCA. In the next part of our three-part series, we will highlight our building services, transportation team, and Conventions C.A.R.E. recycling program. Learn more about sustainability at Boston’s Convention Centers here.

This blog post was written by our intern Ian McGrath who is a Sophomore at UMass Boston majoring in Communications and minoring in English and Psychology.