Sustainability Policy 

Experience Columbia SC, the governing entity over the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, firmly believes that we have a responsibility to conduct business in a manner that positively affects the well-being of our employees, clients, community, and the natural environment.

We strive to maintain high environmental standards in the areas of energy efficiency, waste management, recycling, purchasing, food preparation, and individual behaviors.

Our mission is to establish a culture of environmental stewardship, to educate our employees and clients, and to integrate sustainability into our core business practices. As we continue to adopt and implement new strategies to lessen our environmental impact, we encourage input from all of our stakeholders as we undertake these endeavors.

Our organization has implemented several specific measures to limit our carbon footprint and to better our community and planet:

• We have established a sustainability committee comprised of members from each department of the organization.
• Our in-house catering group regularly donates leftover food to charity organizations.
• Our used cooking oil is picked up and recycled responsibly.
• Our produce is purchased from South Carolina farms.
• We monitor heating and air when buildings are unoccupied and during move-in days.
• Our entire organization participates in a single-stream recycling program.
• We have implemented paperless practices in multiple areas of the organization.

Here at Experience Columbia SC, we believe in transparency. It is our plan to publish our annual waste totals and continue to improve upon those figures. 

Some of our goals for the future include: 

• Incorporating green training as part of new employee hiring
• Implementing an organization-wide green purchasing policy
• Investing in CFL lightbulbs
• Working towards LEED Certification for Existing Buildings

We feel there are many small changes we can make that will benefit our community and organization now and into the future. We invite you to join us in our efforts to significantly better our community and planet. 
 

RECYCLING

→ City of Columbia Recycling collects the following items from us without being sorted:

  • Aluminum 
  • Steel 
  • Plastic
  • Glass; clear, brown and green
  • Magazines
  • Cardboard 
  • Newspaper & Office Paper
  • Paper bags & dishes

→ CMCC has a cardboard compactor, which is emptied & recycled for a rebate, helping reduce waste & cost.

→ CMCC has trash & recycle sort units to increase the availability of recycling to our events & attendees.

→ Communication & client information is kept electronically whenever possible to conserve on paper usage & waste.

→ Staff have personal recycle bins in offices to optimize availability and encourage recycling.

FOODSERVICE

→ With our new switch to Springer Mountain Chicken out of upstate South Carolina, Spectra (the CMCC's foodservice provider) now sources approximately 80% of our food during the spring, summer & fall within 150 miles of us. Local sourcing reduces our carbon footprint for food by limiting the number of miles it travels, and allows us to deliver fresh product from our region. This new chicken is also American Humane Certified and hormone free.

→ Spectra serves all food & drink on china/glassware except for outdoor functions or by client request to reduce waste.

→ All used cooking oil is recycled and repurposed for bio diesel.

→ Spectra serves water in pitchers or large coolers unless otherwise requested by the client to reduce the amount of plastic bottles that are utilized.

→ Cloth linens are used and washed instead of using disposable coverings. Staff will make a replacement for a new cloth during the event only if it is visibly soiled.  

→ Leftover food may be donated to a local food bank if a waiver is set up, approved, and signed by the client.     

→ Food Service gets a guaranteed number of attendees before the event so that food preparation is accurate with minimal waste.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

→ CMCC just installed an upgraded Trane Climate Control Building Automated System (BAC) that extends our equipment life & reduces our maintenance cost. We estimate to save approximately $40,000/ year in energy cost. 

→ Security does not turn the lights on in rented space & escalators on until 15-30 minutes prior to client access times to conserve energy.

→ Our huge glass windows are made with low thermal emissivity (Low E) glass that absorbs & reflects radiant energy to keep the building well insulated to save energy.

→ Within the next 2 years, ALL lighting in the building will be upgraded to LED, which will save energy and last up to 7 years per bulb.

→ All faucets & toilets in CMCC are low flow & automatic to save water.

Where Should I Stay?

There are 1,480 hotel rooms within one mile of the convention center. We’re happy to arrange rooms for your group within walking distance of the center. Contact us for help!

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