San Francisco’s Moscone Center Achieves Highest Level of LEED Certification
San Francisco’s Moscone Center has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for Existing Building Operations and Maintenance (EB:OM), the highest level of LEED developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Following the completion of Moscone’s $551 million expansion program in 2019, the new Moscone North and South complex received the highest score possible for LEED Platinum certification for new construction of a convention center. Now, with this latest recertification, the entire facility, including Moscone West, is now LEED EB:OM Platinum certified, according to officials from ASM Global, the venue management and live experiences company that manages Moscone Center.
“ASM Global is committed to making its portfolio of convention centers the most sustainable collection in the world,” said Dan Hoffend, ASM Global executive vice president of convention centers. “San Francisco’s Moscone Center is leading our effort to achieve this goal and raise the bar for the industry in state-of-the-art sustainability innovations.”
How they earned it
With sustainability at the core of the center’s operations, the facility boasts rooftop solar panels spanning Moscone South’s two roofs, which provide the facility with approximately 19% of its power while Moscone North and South feature a greywater treatment system that recovers 15 million gallons of water annually for reuse in landscaping, street cleaning and toilet flushing.
As sustainable catering options are steadily becoming more top-of-mind for event planners, ASM Global’s culinary division, SAVOR, has developed sustainability-focused menus with climate-friendly plant-based options, as well as fish and poultry dishes. Compostable packaging, waste diversion, recycling and donation programs are also part of its efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of events.
Why it matters
Within its global portfolio of more than 350 venues, ASM Global manages a bevy of LEED-certified U.S. convention centers, including the Colorado Convention Center (Gold) in Denver; Broward County Convention Center (Gold) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; David L. Lawrence Convention Center (Platinum) in Pittsburgh; Hawaii Convention Center (Gold) in Honolulu; Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (Gold); and Los Angeles Convention Center (Gold).
Moscone Center’s commitment to sustainability has helped attract top “mega conferences” that share these values and wish to produce their events in a less environmentally impactful way, according to ASM Global officials. In 2023, Moscone Center welcomed a number of major events, including Dreamforce, Workday Rising 2023, Google Cloud Next, TechCrunch Disrupt, RSA Conference, Config and Game Developers Conference, among others.
“San Francisco has always led the way with sustainability from banning plastic bags to Styrofoam to-go containers in 2007,” said Leonie Patrick, general manager of Moscone Center.
Need to know
Owned by the City and County of San Francisco with oversight provided by its Convention Facilities Department, Moscone Center is the largest convention and exhibition complex in San Francisco. It features more than 795,000 square feet of exhibit space, up to 120 meeting rooms, more than 226,000 square feet of pre-function terraces and lobbies, and is within walking distance of nearly 20,000 hotel rooms.
“This is an incredible accomplishment demonstrating the unwavering commitment to sustainability by the Moscone Center team,” said Lindsay Arell, principal of sustainability consulting firm Honeycomb Strategies, which was instrumental in securing the venue’s LEED designation. “Their leadership is inspiring for the event industry as they show we can both serve our clients with first-in-class service, while also reducing the impact of our buildings in the cities in which we operate.”